Religious tolerance is an integral part of Indian culture and it must be retained and preserved, said Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat during his address at a programme in Ludhiana Saturday.
Addressing an audience that largely consisted of students at Sat Paul Mittal School, Rawat said that the citizens must not forget that India has a rich cultural heritage of its own and it should be retained at every cost.
“Our nation is on the move. We are growing and rising. We have a very strong cultural heritage and legacy which we must honor. But gradually Westernization is taking over. We must not forget that we have a culture of our own which is rich. It must be retained. Humanity, religious tolerance, compassion, care- all these are a part of our rich Indian culture. Religious tolerance must be retained and preserved,” said Rawat, while presiding over a programme where a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Indian Army and Nehru Sidhant Kendra Trust which will be providing scholarships to at least 100 children of deceased soldiers every year.
“Our country is facing several challenges but all these can be overcome if we are together. Anya jaati, bhaasha aur dharam ke log hain iss desh mein.. par yahi Bharat Varsh hai.. (There are people from different castes, religions and languages in this country but we are one nation and that is what India is about),” said Rawat.
He also said that Indian youths should consider joining the Indian Army and help armed forces in protecting their country. “Doors of Indian army are always open for children of this country but then no decision should be forced. One should explore and identify their capabilities. Maybe you can be a good painter, sportsperson..just appreciate what you are good at. The aim should not be just a government job and survival thereafter….” said Rawat to children.
Scholarship for soldiers’ children
The Indian Army and Nehru Sidhant Kendra Trust signed MoU Saturday under which at least 100 children of deceased soldiers will be given financial support for completing their education. Brig H S Kahlon, Directorate of Indian Army Veterans (DIAV) and Bipin Gupta, representing the trust, signed MoU in presence of Army chief General Bipin Rawat and Rakesh Bharti Mittal, president of the Trust.
Named as Nehru Scholarship (Armed Forces), it will extend financial support to at least 100 children of deceased soldiers every year. Preference will be given to education of children who are in primary classes and girls. The trust will continue to render financial support to these children up to Class XII. The support will be available to children of soldiers of Indian Army categorised as ‘physical casualties’ who die in harness and are not covered by any other welfare schemes for education purpose,’ said an official statement from Press Information Bureau, defence wing.
Gen Rawat also gave away five Sat Paul Mittal National Awards to individuals and organisations recognising exceptional social work. The awardees included: Arunachalam Muruganantham (popularly known as ‘Pad Man’) for inventing low-cost sanitary napkins making machine and spreading menstrual hygiene awareness in rural areas; Dr Omesh Kumar Bharti from Shimla for developing low cost rabies treatment now recommended by World Health Organization (WHO); Thirumalai Charity Trust for work in healthcare; The Leprosy Mission Trust India for providing free of cost leprosy treatment to poor patients and Deepalaya – for providing skill development in rural areas.