Thiruvananthapuram

Know your Army Mela: A great hit with students

A battle tank at the Army’s weapons exhibition in the city on Thursday. Photo: S.Mahinsha

A battle tank at the Army’s weapons exhibition in the city on Thursday. Photo: S.Mahinsha  

It’s not every day that one from the city gets a close look at multiple shot grenade launchers, 84mm rocket launchers or anti-tank guided missiles. Even this rare opportunity is a short-lived one, with the ‘Know Your Army’ Mela organised by the Pangode Military Station in connection with Independence Day celebrations at the Colachel Stadium, to wind up on Friday.

The mela, inaugurated on Thursday by Station Commander Brigadier Samir Salunke, is the Military Station’s way of celebrating the 69 Independence Day, with the underlying motive of attracting the city’s youngsters to dream of joining the Indian Army. On the first day itself, more than 2,500 students from various schools, including the Sainik School and the Kendriya Vidyalayas in the capital district, went around the display stalls arranged in the Colachel Stadium.

The students, who braved the light drizzle in the beginning of the event, were in awe as they walked past the INSAS family comprising the popular 5.56mm rifle and the light machine gun, the 7.62mm Dragunov Sniper Rifle, a 30mm auto grenade launcher, dummy mines, and even the mammoth 42-ton Armoured Recovery Vehicle parked alongside the bulky but swift TATRA trucks, to mention a few of the exhibits.

After the weaponry, the students have more in store for them in the form of what the Army calls ‘motivational documentaries’, which include thrilling videos on the heroic exploits and sacrifices of the Indian Army since Independence. The short documentaries, not longer than 15 minutes, have been made by the Army with the aim of instilling respect and also, the desire to join the forces, in the young generation.

The first day of the mela was also marked by a blood donation camp at the Military Hospital, during which more than 60 personnel of the Indian Army and their family members donated blood under the leadership of the MH Commanding Officer, Colonel Vijay Kumar.

While the weaponry and equipment display will conclude on Friday, the public can still visit the Colachel Stadium on Saturday as well, with the Army planning a grand band display from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. as part of the Independence Day celebrations.



“The ‘Know Your Army’ Mela is an effort to intrigue the senses of our youngsters to know more about the Army, to showcase what the Indian Army is all about, and also to build closer relations with the people.” – Colonel M.S. Jamwal, coordinator of the ‘Know Your Army’ Mela at Pangode.

Display of weaponry to conclude on Friday. Band display at Colachel Stadium from 10 a.m. on Saturday.Event is open to public.

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Printable version | Aug 10, 2020 3:20:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/know-your-army-mela-a-great-hit-with-students/article7539427.ece

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