General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Army Staff paid homage and unveiled statues of Field Marshal KM Cariappa, OBE and General KS Thimayya, Padma Bhushan, DSO at a function at Cauvery College, Gonikoppal in Karnataka. The two bronze statues were unveiled in the presence of Lieutenant General RK Anand, General Officer Commanding, Dakshin Bharat Area, Major General KS Nijjar, General Officer Commanding, Karnataka & Kerala Sub Area and other serving and retired dignitaries.
The Army Chief while unveiling the statues said that the courage, valor and sacrifice of the people of Coorg will always be remembered by the Indian Army. The land had provided great leaders who have been part of the defence forces of the nation and that in the future also, there would be many distinguished leaders from this land. During his address, the Army Chief also mentioned that, the Indian Army will recommend Field Marshal KM Cariappa's name for Bharat Ratna.
Mentioning about the steps being taken by the Indian Army for the well-being of Ex Servicemen, he said that providing quality healthcare under the ECHS (Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme) was a priority and suitable amendments have been made to ensure timely access to medicines.
Adding further, the Army Chief announced a sum of Rs 10 lakhs for the museum at Sunny Side in Madikeri.
Earlier, Lieutenant General CN Somanna (Retd) welcomed the Army Chief. Colonel KC Subbayya (Retd), President of Field Marshal KM Cariappa and General Thimayya Forum (FMCGTF) and Major BA Nanjappa (Retd) Convenor of FMCGTF also spoke on the occasion.
The Army Chief also presented FMCGTF Life Time Achievement Award to Mr KK Aiyappa on this occasion.
The statues of the valiant Kodavas will inspire, the young students to look at their illustrious forefathers and follow in the footsteps. The site for the statues has been provided graciously by the Cauvery Educational Society and is located in close vicinity to the 'lyn house', the ancestral house of Kodavdira family belonging to the Generals. The two statues are placed side by side about 25' above the road level. The bronze statues, 7'6" in height have been made in Bidadi by Shilpi Vijay at a total cost of Rs 17 lakhs. This is the only loc in India where Statues of the Army Chiefs are Co-located.
The Field Marshal Cariappa General Thimayya ( FMCGT) forum was formed with the aim of helping the veterans of the area and to motivate youngsters to join the Defence Forces. The forum started celebrating the birthdays of the Generals from 2007 onwards and as of today, Field Marshal Cariappa's birthday has become a Government event. Efforts are on to include Gen Thimayya's birthday as an official Government event as well. The Forum is also actively involved in bringing up 'Sunny Side,' Gen Thimayya's residence as a Museum and a War Memorial to be completed by mid 2018.