10 Indian soldiers died in an avalanche in Siachen on Thursday, February 4th, 2016.
In January, 4 soldiers had lost their lives in similar fashion. That’s 14 Indian lives in 2016, and the year is just 36 days old.
The Siachen border is not for the fainthearted. With soldiers station at upto 22,000 feet, the world’s highest active battlefield has seen over 800 Indian soldiers die from avalanches and frostbite since we first stationed troops there in 1984. The sad part is that we hear the news and move on with our lives, failing to pause for a second and acknowledge the altruistic efforts of our border force.
But this time, let us make an effort to remember and thank all the brave men who have served us so selflessly.
5,400 metres high, at an average altitude of 20,000 feet. On the highest battlefield on Earth, there stands the jawan who puts his country before his own life.
He’s the one who guards our borders, and endures the biting cold, with a freezing drop of -60. While we sit peacefully in the comforts of our homes.
He stays through the frostbites and the unforgiving freezing nights. While we lounge in our cushioned sofas.
While we get to choose our battles, he willingly chooses the toughest of them all. Everyday. For our sake.
His body deteriorates, but his courage never dips.
Everything up there tests his endurance, but he never flinches, he never bats an eye. He continues to do his duty day in and day out.
Without sleep, without food, he puts his body through the extreme conditions. While we sit in our homes, eating hot meals that we take for granted.
We can’t even begin to understand what you go through 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We have it so easy because of you. And we can’t thank you enough. Ever.
You are the brave guardians of the North.
You are the men who brave storms and avalanches to keep us safe.
You take the risk to keep us safe. Selfless, never leaving your post, you take care of us from far away, and we will forever be indebted to you.
We remember you, we remember the sacrifices you make, and we acknowledge the pain you go through to protect us.
We owe you our lives.
Our country owes you its pride, honour, and its continued freedom.