Honorary Captain Gumansinh Jhala, an 87-year-old war veteran, will flag off a cycling expedition from the Indo-Pak border in Gujarat on Thursday to commemorate the golden jubilee victory celebrations of 1971 Indo-Pak war.
The 10-day expedition, which will cover 1,971 km from the border outpost 1,171 to Longewalla in Rajasthan, will be undertaken by various formations of Konark Corps of the Indian Army, representatives of Indian Air Force, Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard and Border Security Force.
“I had participated in the Indo-Pak War at Asal Uttar near Amritsar in 1965. I was a subedar then. Our troops had come under heavy fire from the Pakistani side and we had suffered a lot of casualties. I had injured my foot, hand and nearly lost my eye. I was later treated at hospitals at Ambala and Chandigarh,” Jhala, a resident of Bhuj in Kutch district, said.
The octogenarian originally hails from a village near Dhrangdhra in Surendranagar district. On Wednesday, he will travel with his grandson to a border outpost beyond Lakhpat for the flag-off ceremony. “When the Army calls, I have to go,” Jhala told The Indian Express before heading for the border outpost.
After he was wounded in the 1965 war, Jhala was posted as a drill instructor at the Officers Training School in Chennai.
He also taught cadets at the National Defence Academy at Khadakwasla before retiring in 1981.
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