The 7 Battalion of the Madras Regiment cleaned two spots in the State capital

The 7 Battalion of the Madras Regiment is celebrating its 50th Raising Day in a different way.

Kicking off the celebrations a week in advance, more than 300 men of the battalion on Sunday engaged in some tough work at two prime spots in the city — at the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple and the Government Medical College Hospital — cleaning, sprucing up, and beautifying the premises.

Colonel Dushyant Jolly, Commanding Officer of the battalion, said the aim was to give something to the city with which the battalion, and the Madras Regiment itself, had a bond that ran several decades back, with the erstwhile Travancore battalion of the Travancore Maharaja being merged with the Madras Regiment.

The cleaning drive on the temple premises saw 150 men clear weeds and garbage around the temple and the Padmatheertham pond, apart from giving a few fresh coats of whitewash to the walls around the pond.

At the medical college hospital, an equal number of men were busy cleaning up wards, some of which, Col. Jolly said, were lying in a shambles, and making them usable.

The hospital authorities too were upbeat about the endeavour, and the battalion has offered to return, after some 20 days, to take up where it left off and do more for the hospital.

A tree planting drive, with quite a number of fruit trees and herbal/medicinal trees, on the battalion camp premises had preceded the sanitation drive.

More programmes had been lined up, both for the men in uniform and the public, Col. Jolly said. A blood donation camp, to be held at the battalion camp on Monday, aimed at providing blood to needy patients at the medical college hospital, while one of the only four brass bands in the Indian Army was being summoned for a performance on the Shanghumughom beach on the evening of March 29. Displays by the Tornadoes, the motorcycle display team of the Indian Army; gliding and skydiving performances by the Para Motor display team of the Armed Forces; and so on would follow the band’s performance.