Soldiers suffer paraplegic injuries due to spinal damage during war time. Living with traumatic injuries is a challenge. People who do not often come across such soldiers do not know the hard time the soldiers undergo. They have to run miles in difficult circumstances. These men in uniform have not let their disabilities come in the way of their achievement. There are paraplegics who have won medals at national and international events
ARINDAM GANGULY, OP
BHUBANESWAR: Mitsu Chavda, 23, a student of English literature of Veer Narmada South Gujarat University, is covering 103 cities in 23 states on an Avenger 150 street motorcycle. Her singular mission is to transform something for which you can’t just wait to happen on its own. You have to work hard with the purpose of educating younger generations about paraplegic soldiers in the country.
Daughter of an Auditor, Chavda started her mission at Kargil chowk in Surat, November 26 (Gujarat). Her mission to cover 17000 kilometres on bike, named Rideforsoldiers, is meant to generate awareness about the achievements of paraplegic soldiers.
She reached Gopalpur Saturday and visited Puri, Konark and arrived in Bhubaneswar Monday. She interacted with NCC cadets at Orissa Air Squadron in Palaspalli for some time and talked to Orissa POST about her mission. She has already visited Mumbai, Kolhapur, Belgaum, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Vishakapatnam before reaching Orissa. She will visit Kolkata after which she will ride through northern region. She informed the NCC cadets about issues related to paraplegic soldiers and how best they cope up with life with dignity after their military services.
’Once a soldier, always a soldier’ is the oft-quoted adage which holds true for the Indian Armed Forces, she said admiring the services of the Army personnel. “They are the shield and sword of the country who keep our frontiers safe against the enemies. Their
spirit, valour and sense of duty to defend the nation against stupendous odds are unmatched,” she said.
There are some soldiers who become paraplegic for life in course of their service. This mission – Rideforsoldiers – is to boost the morale of such soldiers and aimed at generating support through charity and awareness for paraplegic soldiers. She said this was her first bikeride and during her journey she faced difficulties on the way such as lack of public toilets, especially for women. “What I had learnt from soldiers is that “pain is temporary and pride is forever”. She said there are instances of soldiers who won medals in national and international events in paralympic games. During the tour she also conducts seminars on issues at schools and colleges on the subject. Talking about her journey she said, “I was mistaken for a male biker but when I showed my identity, they praised me.
That gives me the motivation to carry on the motor ride. The army men in every state had supported me.” The young 4G generation which is quite satisfied with its life does not know what hard life the soldiers lead in the army. “This generation forgets the sacrifices of the brave men and their rigours in the difficult terrain and temperature. Their eternal vigilance on the borders gives us good night’s sleep…We think patriotically only twice a year – August 15 and January 26 –whereas they are patriotic to the core.”