Siachen is the world’s highest battleground in the world. It is not ordinary to survive over there even for a day due to its extreme weather conditions, just imagine how a soldier would be living there for months and protecting us from the enemies?
It is the coldest place in India, there are frosty winds blowing all the time, it is a very difficult stretch of land with thinnest oxygen level in India. Many soldiers die every year due to avalanches and other environmental disasters. Also, the soldiers have to be on the lookout for trespassers, terrorists and other enemies, carrying heavy guns on their shoulders.
This couple from Pune, Sumedha and Yogesh Chithade have sold their jewellery for the soldiers living and serving in the 76 kilometre-long Siachen glacier.
They sold their ornaments for ₹1.25 lakh to raise the money for the oxygen-generation plant, which approximately costs around ₹1.10 crore. The couple formed a charitable trust and registered it with the charity commissioner office in Pune.
Sumeedha is very emotional when it comes to the army, she considers the army as her family. She is the mother of an army major and believes that charity begins at home.
Her husband Yogesh Chithade who was at the Indian Air Force, took early retirement, talked about the plant with India Today, “Oxygen cylinders brought from Chandigarh are delivered at 22,000 feet. At times, there are no copters to deliver cylinders. When the plant comes up, transportation cost and time will be reduced. The plant will benefit around 9,000 soldiers who are doing a great sacrifice by guarding our borders with that area. Other families should contribute too, at least Re 1 each.”
Sumeedha who even sold her earrings told India Today, “I have been working for army welfare since 1999. When I was at the Siachen base camp, I realised the climate there is extremely harsh. Even in summers, the temperature is at -35 degrees (Celsius) and it drops to -55 in winters. Our soldiers, who plod through 35-40 feet deep snow at the risk of developing snow blindness and frostbite, are lonely and cut off from their family and friends. It’s so easy for us to breathe here, but at 22,000 feet, it is extremely difficult to breathe. I have not sold every ornament, but made a beginning. I will contribute more if required.”
The plant which will be constructed there, will be used by our army to refill the oxygen cylinders.
Five other trusts have come forward with the contribution of money.
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