We step into the New Year with a mixed note of hope and horror, given the recent terrorist attacks at the Pathankot Airforce station that shocked the nation. In the combing operations that followed, our brave soldiers fought hard and a few of them sacrificed their lives to save the country and protect its sovereignty. What does this have to do with our kids…you may ask. Though our kids are insulated from all such unpleasantness of the adult world, it doesn’t hurt to give them a reality check from time to time.
While we take pains to acquaint them with the world of science, technology and general knowledge, let us also enlighten them about the inspiring lives of some of India’s most courageous and daring soldiers to whom we owe our freedom and sense of security.
So this month, we picked out the recently released title in the Amar Chitra Katha series “Param Vir Chakra – The Ultimate Honour”. With Indian Republic day round the corner, this makes an ideal read for anyone wanting to learn about the 21 bravehearts of the Indian armed forces who were awarded the highest military honour, ever since the award was instituted on January 26th 1950.
Starting from General Somnath Sharma who along with his regiment fought till his last breath and secured Srinagar in the 1947 war with Pakistan to Captain Vikram Batra who was awarded the Param Vir Chakra for his ‘lion hearted leadership’ and ‘selfless actions’ during the Kargil conflict in 1999, this book beautifully narrates the stories of the real heroes of India who didn’t think twice before putting themselves in danger for the sake of the nation.
Each of the stories highlights their selfless and patriotic spirit that set them apart from their peers, throwing light on their early ambitions, the formidable tasks that they had set themselves to achieve and how some of them gave up their lives achieving the same. The reader is also let in on the attendant circumstances like hostile weather conditions or rough geographical terrain that the soldiers faced during many an armed conflict, thus offering a peek into life in the Indian armed forces, that includes the hierarchical set-up of the military establishment, numerous regiments commissioned, weapons and vehicles used during war-times and an end-note that answers the frequently raised doubt as to what do the armed forces do during peace time.
Accompanied by vivid illustrations characteristic of any Amar Chitra Katha title, these inspiring stories are sure to captivate children of all ages and instill in them a feeling of pride and patriotism towards our country.