Speech by her Excellency the President of India, Shrimati Pratibha Devisingh Patil Addressing the Defence Personnel- Leh, 01 Sep 2010 PIB
My dear soldiers,
I have just visited a site affected by the cloudburst and the resultant flash floods in Ladakh, in which many lives were lost, many suffered injuries and a number of people went missing. There has been extensive damage to property. In this difficult hour all of us are with the people of Ladakh. My deepest sympathies go out to those who have lost their loved ones and to those including the uniformed personnel who have suffered during this calamity. The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh was here a few days earlier. I join him in assuring that no effort will be spared in relief and rehabilitation work.
Natural calamities and disasters are a reminder of the forces of nature. I am proud that during these difficult times the Armed Forces acquitted themselves commendably and gave an account of unprecedented courage, selfless devotion and unparalleled dedication involving themselves in relief, rescue and re-construction efforts. My appreciation goes out to the doctors from the Army who responded whole heartedly, and treated casualties much beyond the normal handling capacity in the Army Hospital. I also commend the special efforts made to locate missing personnel and rescue of the stranded, including foreign tourists. Your hardwork and sustained efforts, undertaken in co-ordination with local authorities, have helped in the restoration of road and signal communications, electricity, water supply and other essential services. Every call for help by the locals was answered positively and admirably by our brave soldiers. You must continue with this work, as the damage has been widespread and, moreover before the onset of winter, much work needs to be done to help rebuild the homes and lives of the people of Ladakh.
It gives me great satisfaction to see the confidence exuding in your faces, despite braving the fury of nature. Seeing your spirit, I am impressed with your determination and courage. It is commendable that under such trying circumstances, you have been able to maintain a high degree of morale and unblemished professionalism. All of you braving the extreme odds of nature, facing the vagaries of hostile weather and terrain conditions, are the sentinels of our country. The climatic and topographic conditions in this region are the most demanding in the world. However, you all brave soldiers have never dithered. The lofty heights in some places of 21,000 feet may appear daunting to the most daring mountaineers, but you are deployed in these high altitudes for prolonged periods without any fear, braving the hypoxic conditions and bearing physical, mental and psychological hardships.
I feel proud to say that you have faced all wars in a commendable manner. Your acts of gallantry, courage and fortitude in Chushul, Rezangia, Siachen, Kargil and other areas are a testimony to the indomitable spirit of the brave Indian solider. I have no doubt that the security of the nation is safe in your capable hands, and you will guard the nation's frontiers under the most daunting conditions.
The Armed Forces have always assured the citizens of their safety and security against internal as well as external threats. I wish to compliment each one of you and all of you for your sincerity, dedication, selflessness and enthusiasm shown each time you are called upon to do so by the nation. I exhort each one of you to always remain ready to deal with any challenge. Your work, your discipline and your high level of commitment are admired by all citizens of this country. I bring to you their good wishes as well as my own. I wish all of you and your families - happiness, well-being and the very best in life. *** AD/SKS
Speech by her Excellency the President of India, Shrimati Pratibha Devisingh Patil Addressing the Defence Personnel