3 Kumaon (Rifles) Centenary Celebrations
3rd Battalion Rifles, The Kumaon Regiment also known as the 'Kumaon Rifles' celebrated a hundred years of dedicated service to the Nation at Pithoragarh. The Centenary Celebrations of the Unit was conducted over a period of three days from October 21 to 23, 2017. A plethora of events were organized by the Battalion commencing with a grand Musical Evening on October 21, 2017 wherein the Pipe and String Bands of the Unit, Brass Bands of the Unit, Brass Band of the JAT Regimental Center, Martial Arts North East Warriors of the Assam Regimental Center, Jazz Band of Kumaon Regimental Center and Kumaoni Cultural Dance and songs from Aanchal Kala Kendra, Haldwani were conducted. The Musical Symphony of the Bands was a treat to the ears. Gifts and Prizes were distributed to the performers on culmination of the eve. Inauguration of Unit Heritage Hall was also done on October 21, 2017 by Brig Ranjan Mallik, SM, Commander Panchshul Brigade. Entire historical data of the past hundred years of the Battalion by means of pectoral displays, write up and digitization of record and War Diaries was laid out at the Heritage Hall. It was a unique treat to watch the history of the Battalion well laid out along the walls of Hall.
A Waiting Shed was also inaugurated at the Zila Sainik Board, Pithoragarh on 21 October by Subedar (Honorary Captain) Umesh Singh Lunthi an old Veteran Junior Commissioned Officer of the Battalion. The Waiting Shed was donated by Mrs Chandan Sharma wife of Major (Late) Naresh Sharma, SM who took part in the 1971 Indo Pak War and displayed raw courage and feat of bravery at the face of the enemy at East Pakistan (Now Bangladesh).
A Children Carnival was also organized on 21 October to hone the skills of Children of Soldiers of the Battalion and to instill Confidence in them by conduct of various competitions like Painting, Drawing and Dancing. The participants were of all age groups from 6 years to 16 years. These proud children showed enthusiasm and zest to take part in these competitions and were very proud of the fact that their father is part of a Battalion which celebrated its Centenary. On October 22, 2017 a Special Family Welfare Programme was conducted by the Battalion wherein families of the Serving Soldiers of the Battalion participated and displayed a wide range of Kumaoni Cultural and Dance programs. The event was culminated by felicitating Veer Naris of the Battalion whose husbands had made the supreme sacrifice for the motherland in various tenures in which the Battalion was deployed in Counter Insurgency and Counter Terrorism roles in J&K and the North Eastern Regions of the Country and also in various conventional wars that the Battalion took part in.
On October 22, 2017, statue of the "Kumaoni Warrior" was also unveiled by Maj DN Singh, Vir Chakra (Retd) who had participated in the 1965 Indo Pak War. He displayed Gallant in the face of the enemy and led his company to victory despite of loosing a leg in the minefield. He was awarded Vir Chakra for this rare feet of Bravery.
On October 23, 2017, the day started with Mandir Pooja on the occasion of Raising Day. The Ceremonial Parade commence with the arrival of General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Army Staff as the reviewing Officer of the Parade. The Post Master General Uttarakhand Area along with Chief of the Army Staff released the Kumaon Rifles Stamp during the Parade. The Parade Commander was the Commanding Officer 3 KUMAON (Rifles), Colonel Dheeraj Kumar Singh. The Parade was witnessed by other senior dignitaries such as Lt Gen BS Sahrawat, SM (Colonel of the Kumaon, Naga Regiment and Kumaon Scouts), Lt Gen Harish Thukral, SM (General Officer Commanding Uttar Bharat Area), Maj Gen Anil Khosla, (Military Secretary to the President of India), Brig Ranjan Mallik, SM (Commander 119(Independent) Infantry Brigade Group) and other Serving & Veteran Officers. After the Ceremonial Parade the Chief of the Army Staff visited the Battalion Heritage Room and also the Battalion website was launched by the Chief of the Army Staff. The Chief of the Army Staff presented Commendation Cards to meritorious officers, Junior Commissioned Officers and Other Ranks vis-à-vis Colonel DK Singh, Captain Mukesh Yadav, Sub Maj Prakash Chandra Pant, Naib Subedar Clerk Jai Prakash Yadav, Naik Manohar Singh & Rifleman Sanjay Chand Rajan.
The Chief of the Army Staff then interacted with the Veer Naris and other Guests. The Chief's visit culminated with a Group Photograph along with all Serving and Retired Riflemen of the 3rd Battalion Rifles The Kumaon Regiment.
- Col Aman Anand
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