Their story does not start or end with matchlocks, cannons and guns!
By: M S Nazki
They drop bombs on the target and demolish it, no doubt about that but they are not as hard as the shells and as lethal as the bombs, they are human at heart!
They are proving that with their initiative medicine at your door step for the people staying on LOC. Had this enemy in the form of the invisible contagion been visible, it wouldn’t have survived even one barrage of the battery but it has to be dealt with medicines and some other essentials. That is what is being given to the people so that it does not infect them.
The speed, accuracy and devastating power of Indian Army Artillery has won confidence and admiration from the troops it supported and inspired fear and respect in their enemy. But this one is a different ball game. It is the people who have to be saved from a beast dropping bombs of infection on the people. Incidentally gobbled up many in the Nation but these parts of the comparatively are doing fine.
One of the reasons is that the people are being time and again cautioned to be careful and make sure that they cover their mouth pieces and nostrils as it is from here the monster enters with a person not realizing it at all. In the far flung areas and the LOC it is the Indian Army and Jammu and Kashmir Police doing it and mind you the people are listening.
The officers and the men also called lovably as gunners of Ace of Spade Divisions, deployed in Mendhar are playing a different role for the people. It’s not an attacking one but a defensive one as that is the only that is working at the moment. One cannot take on the virus as no one has been able to right from the past eras because it comes, creates an uproar in the people, devastates and decimates them and then vanishes. No one is certain whether it would come back or not but it has an uncanny habit of coming back as it did now.
Therefore what is required is medical checkups and provision of medical aid. The civil administration is doing its best, the health care men and their support staff are doing a spectacular job but for these people staying on the LOC and the interiors and far flung areas the only hope has been the Indian Army and beyond them the people also see nowhere.
No doubt they too will be vaccinated but for the time being under the covers is the best option and that is what the gunners were preaching to them on their house to house visits as they launched a mission of a different kind, ’Medicine at your door steps’.
This virus is a deadly killing machine that was known to the people when it struck for the first time in the beginning of the year 2020. But it would be so brutal that its second invasion was never ever imagined. It instilled the fear of death in the individuals and they had no option but to stay at home with bolted doors. But that was no guarantee still since many in the households had moved for whatever job they did to different places. Therefore medical examinations became a necessity along with awareness and face to face talks regarding the protocols and more importantly hygiene and sanitation. Though most of the people knew this yet they had to be reminded because carelessness and callousness is part of the human nature and this segment of people are exactly like us, they fancy dropping guards at any given opportunity and thus giving a lucrative invitation to the virus to treat us as its host and it loves humans by the way! It was to check out on this that the men from the artillery launched this medical initiative and this is what they did and will continue doing:
With an aim to carry healthcare to doorsteps, Mendhar Gunners, under the aegis of Ace of Spades Division, carried out a Mobile Medical Aid initiative wherein, medical check ups were carried out for the local population in remote areas and far flung villages near the LoC.
Affected by the dual pandemic of COVID-19 and cross border firing (thankfully the gun barrels are silent as of now with Pakistan behaving and showing sanity), quality healthcare services remain a challenge for civilians in border areas.
Keeping in line with the ethos of Sarve Santu Niramaya, Army doctors and medical staff provided essential medicines and carried out cleaning and dressing procedures for more than 75 civilians from a Mobile Medical Ambulance.
The elderly (plenty suffer from comorbidities) , people and children were put to comfort in their villages of Mankote and Dharana after being given the treatment they required.
Moreover, emphasis on spreading COVID-19 awareness was provided, innovative means including vehicle mounted PSA systems and drones were utilized to sensitize the local population about COVID-19 precautions and vaccination procedures.
Acknowledging the contribution of front line workers, medical checkups were also carried out for local policemen and shop keepers.
This medical outreach program was widely appreciated by one and all and reinforced the faith of the local population in Indian Armed Forces.
Mendhar Gunners continue to extend all humanitarian assistance to the remotest corners of border villages and remain committed to the cause of extending aid to civilians in these testing times.
These officers and men are specialists in target bashing as I earlier said but here they are taking on a pathogen that spares none and it’s not beyond the realms of possibilities that it wouldn’t be around you. You make a mistake and it will get you and if it does then the results could be the either way. This is what we saw in the past month and a half. But it can be warded off provided one goes by a disciplined way and that is what these great men who deal with huge guns are telling the people! So ’be safe, play safe and thus remain safe’!