Chandigarh Senior Citizens’ Association (CSCA) organized a function at Manekshaw Auditorium, Chandimandir on the eve of Vijay Divas to felicitate serving and retired Defence personnel and their families, salute the martyrs and honour the brave in recognition of their selfless services in protecting the integrity, honour and dignity of the Nation. The programme drew massive response: there was no vacant seat in the 460-seat auditorium.
Sh Daljit Singh Grewal, President of the Association, in his welcome speech, introduced Lt Gen KJ Singh, Western Army Commander, as a cerebral General and lauded the role played by Defence Services in protecting, at all times, the integrity of the Nation through round the clock vigil and preparedness for any eventuality – be it against external aggression, internal disorder or to provide succour during natural calamities. Through this function, he said, senior citizens of the Tri-city, a large segment of the region’s population whom CSCA represents, wished to convey their gratitude and thanks.
A special feature of the programme was honouring of ten veterans and serving soldiers (list attached). Brig (Dr) M L Kataria, 96-year old “Saint of the Slums”, who was recently honoured by Govt of India with Vayoshreshttha Samman, made an offer to hand over one or more of his fully equipped clinics to provide free medical service to retired Defence personnel and their families.
Gen K J Singh, AVSM**, in his address praised CSCA for its activities in looking after interests of senior citizens and ensuring that senior citizens continue to play an active part in society. He particularly appreciated its role in the fields of healthcare, women’s empowerment and adult literacy. He said that some problems senior citizens face are attitude related. The need, therefore, is to adapt oneself and start making the necessary attitudinal changes well in advance. This was his advice to younger sections of the audience.
After the formal session, an hour long cultural programme was presented jointly by artistes from CSCA and Western Command which was greatly appreciated
by the audience.