The role of the Indian army in the Kashmir valley is not that of a pure fighting arm of the government, the army actually acts as one of the primary support pillars to the civil administration of the union territory, its assets being used regularly for providing succor to the long suffering civil residents of the terrorism infested regions. The army undertakes these actions not by replacing the civil administration but in coordination with and as a partner with the civil administration of this territory. In as much as is possible, it also partners with the residents of the Union Territory, both on individual bases and through civil non-government organizations, to provide assistance to the long suffering populace of this part of India. The first priority of the army after establishing a firm control of the Kashmir valley and Jammu region after the events of 1990 and 1991 was to provide assistance to its residents who had been long suffering because of near complete breakdown of civil authority. The civil administration had been severely hampered from undertaking its regular activities during the years when militancy was at its peak and thus roads were in complete disrepair, government offices had shut down in many areas and people at many places were left to fend for themselves. Operation SADBHAVNA or Operation Goodwill was launched by the Indian army in Jammu and Kashmir with the motto of `Jawan aur Awam, Aman Hai Muqaam’ with the sole purpose of directly serving the people of the state through various initiatives. This project includes a wide swath of initiatives undertaken in the fields of health, infrastructure development, women empowerment, youth training, development of sports facilities and initiatives to improve people to people 2 relationship. It has been planned that the facilities developed through this initiative will in the long term be transferred to the civil administration of the union territory so that these have a long term positive impact on the lives of people. At the time insurgency in Kashmir was at its peak and large parts of the valley as well as Jammu were in the grips of terrorists pushed in from across the border by Pakistan, many of the Primary Health Centers, especially those in rural areas, were left unmanned because the doctors and staff had evacuated these because of safety concerns. Thus when the army moved into these areas in late 1980s, clearing them of the terrorist menace, one of the first responsibility of the army was to re-establish a network of medical centers before PHCs and the secondary health establishment of the state could start re-functioning. This experience has helped the army to establish a large network, in conjunction with various civil medical departments of Jammu and Kashmir, which now is actively involved in providing all year round medical aid to residents of this mountainous region. Even at present, this medical network established by the army becomes extremely important during the four months of extreme winter conditions. As many of the villages and small towns of the valley are located in remote areas, these tend to become completely cut-off from the rest of the valley sometimes for months on end. The army has through its long experience of being stationed in the valley developed an excellent all weather protocol to keep it operational even in the worst conditions. This operational protocol actually helps the civil residents of the valley, especially during times when these civil pockets are disconnected from larger urban centers due to extreme weather conditions. All military establishments keep a good and ready surplus of medicines and medical equipment for the periods of harsh winter conditions and unexpected natural calamities. These are a huge asset for the civil population residing within the area of unit responsibility of the army establishments and the army doctors posted with these military establishments take regular rounds of civil areas to help out those needing medical assistance as well as provide urgent relief in case of emergencies. These medical facilities of the army which are present in every nook and corner of the valley because of operational requirements provide a great support system and morale booster for the civil medical establishment of the valley, especially in times when the civil primary medical establishment is not sufficiently upgraded to deal with a problem. Army medical doctors take regular rounds of villages and conduct medical camps, especially before the onset of winters, to treat medical conditions and also identify individuals with severe medical conditions. At these medical camps, many of which are undertaken under Operation SADBHAVNA, medicines are distributed free of cost to the people and are thus a great boon for residents of Jammu and Kashmir who are residing in remote locations or in high mountains. Ever since the inception of Operation SADBHAVNA the Indian Army has established a number of schools in the union territory. A large number of students studying in these Goodwill Schools and are acquiring primary or higher secondary level qualification. In additional to providing direct education at the grassroots through schools run by it, the Indian army has also been providing assistance to State Government run schools through support for day to day maintenance, addition of infrastructure, augmentation of resources or in other ways as per individual requirements.3 A special focus area for the army is the children whose lives have been impacted by terrorist violence. The army has been taking responsibility for these children and has provided scholarships for their education in schools within the state as well as in other parts of India. In addition the army helps and guides students to obtain admissions in institutions of higher education outside the state. A unique initiative of the Indian army is the establishment of Shepherd schools for children of the Gurjar and Bakarwal communities of the state. These two communities traditionally migrate to lower altitudes in winters with their herds and to higher altitudes in summers. These schools have been established at locations which are frequented by these communities during their annual migrations and the Indian army, being present in all parts of the valley including inhospitable terrain, sometimes much beyond motorable roads, is well suited to understand the requirements of these communities and their route of movement, making the army best suited to establish institutions like schools for them. The army has opened centers for vocational training of women where they can be trained in skills which can be used at minimal input costs to earn a decent livelihood and thus become selfsufficient. The youth of the state are helped in become proficient in sports. Youth guidance Employment Nodes have been created where youth are given guidance related to skill enhancement and also information regarding opportunities for job employment. The army also organizes regular tours of children from the valley to places outside the state to increase people to people interaction and to make the children of the state aware of the various cultures and societies which inhabit this vast land. Unemployed youth are also taught skills to make them self-sufficient through self-employment and are motivated to take up economic leadership of their respective communities. As nearly 72 percent of the population of Jammu and Kashmir lives in rural areas, the role of veterinary care provided by the army becomes extremely important for these rural communities, some of these living in far flung areas of the state. Regular veterinary care camps are organized by the army for the people of the union territory in cooperation with the veterinary departments of the government. Many a times, it is only in an emergency that we understand the value of an asset which we have ignored during times of plenty. When the largest natural calamity of a century struck the Kashmir valley, the only organization which could operate effectively to help the people and protect life as well as property was the Indian army stationed in the valley. In 2014 sudden abnormally high rainfall within the shortest possible time precipitated flash floods which suddenly inundated most of the Kashmir valley including Srinagar. People did not even have time to escape from their houses when the calamity struck. The civil administration was taken completely by surprise and its command and control structure collapsed within no time. All institutions of government in the state were cut off from each other and their establishments were themselves inundated because of the enormity and suddenness of the floods that swamped the region. On 2nd September the Indian army launched a massive search and rescue mission in which it put in all the manpower and resources available with it to help the people of the valley. It was a massive exercise in logistics as lakhs of people had been affected from the heart of old Srinagar to far flung areas of the valley. 4 The ethos of the Indian army since independence has been service and support and it has demonstrated this through actions post-1947. Many a times in the post-independence history of India, it has been the army which has been the last pillar of support for the Indian people as well as the government; this may be in extreme circumstances like floods, cyclones or even riots. This ethos of the Indian army, which is quite different or rather opposite to the ethos of many of the armies around the world, made the additional task undertaken by it in Jammu and Kashmir not a burden but a pleasure, something which is part of its basic operational responsibility.