CORONA ruined my three trips in 2020 to meet my unit widows and few army widows. I start my road trip travelling to their villages in remote Punjab, Himachal and J&K on 19 Mar. I will give you actual life of forces widows. Four days, 2000 km, own expenditure & no favours.
2/n #MeetingForcesWidows #RoadTrip Day-1, 19 Mar, Left Delhi by road on my thrice-a-year pilgrimage to meet Forces Widows and their school-college going children. Missed 2020 due to Corona else since 2006 never missed meeting them each year. A 260 km drive to first destination.
3/n #MeetingForcesWidows #RoadTrip With no-touching-cash, we reimburse 100% tuition fees to the widows and ensure that no child discontinues education up to post graduation. The unique Benefactor to Beneficiary model ensures 100% money is transferred by donor to widow DIRECTLY.
4/n #MeetingForcesWidows #RoadTrip Huge number of Twitter friends donate. There are a huge number to whom I am yet to respond. Please accept my apologies. I will get in touch soon. You will understand life of forces widows over next four days. Keep reading this thread.
5/n #MeetingForcesWidows #RoadTrip Army has no mandate to look after Veterans and Forces Widows. Secretary ESM Welfare, one of five Secretaries of MoD does. Army conveniently abdicates responsibility. First widow I meet today is wife of a SENA MEDAL. Her story will shatter you.
6/n #MeetingForcesWidows #RoadTrip KILLED IN ACTION : KILLED FOR LIFE Met the first Forces Widow and daughter in a village near Chandigarh. The widow is staying here on rent just for education of children. One daughter in MBBS final, second daughter completed B Tech in 1st Div. Image
7/n #MeetingForcesWidows #RoadTrip I first met Smt Premlata when she was 26 yr old widow, daughters were 5 yrs and 7. She has braved the world and sacrificed her comforts for kids. Both children 90% plus in 12th. No financial support, no help from anyone outside unit.
8/n #MeetingForcesWidows #RoadTrip Unit persons, both serving and retired funded both children. 100% tuition fees for MBBS and N Tech. Central Govt schemes did not benefit. Kendriya Sainik Board has such rules that onus to claim each year and year on year is on widow.
9/n #MeetingForcesWidows #RoadTrip Most years for some reason they don’t get it. If accepted the paltry fees is reimbursed after a year or two. This is what capability of an IAS Secretary at helm is. Army is quiet. Doesn’t affect them. I will do a story....
10/n #MeetingForcesWidows #RoadTrip I will do a story titled KILLED IN ACTION : KILLED FOR LIFE where the gallant act of her husband that earned him SENA MEDAL (POSTHOMOUS) and the gallant struggle by his wife will bring out the mettle they are made of. To me they are my family.
11/n #MeetingForcesWidows #RoadTrip She misplaced Sena Medal parchment at the venue of investiture, I struggled as CO for two complete years to trace it or get her a copy and nothing happened. She lost on many counts. A certificate signed by some Colonel was used!
12/n #MeetingForcesWidows #RoadTrip More of it soon. Started on a 170 km trip to Daulatpur, HP. How many of you remember a recent news of a DSC jawan who died in Srinagar due to Bukhari blast? Meeting his 35 yr old wife who also happens to be daughter of my unit Subedar(Retd).
13/n Just left Daulatpur. On 16 Feb 2021, in Srinagar there was a bukhari blast & a jawan died. Social Media was full of this news. Late Ex Nk Suresh was married to daughter of my unit JCO (in pic) So shocking to meet the widow with daughter is in class VI. Image
14/n #MeetingForcesWidows #RoadTrip from Daulatpur crossing jungles of Dholbaha entered Punjab. Met another young widow in Janauri. She is the widow State Bank of India was harassing. Three years back her husband, a Naik, died of heart attack. Her daughters were in L Kg & U Kg. Image
15/n #MeetingForcesWidows #RoadTrip Meeting unit veterans with whom we have spent life together is always a moment one looks forward to. With Naik Pradeep and his daughter. We served together for 25 years. Who says army relations are upto unit gate? I am retired for 15 yrs today! Image
16/n Calling off Day-1 of road trip. #MeetingForcesWidows #RoadTrip Thankful to my driver from nine years. Narender has met each forces widow that I do. Drives safe and drives long distances and hours. Eats at same place as me and stays in same hotels as me. Hats off. Good night. Image
17/n First meeting tomorrow is the widow in “NEELI CHHATRI WALA DEKHEGA – (GOD WILL LOOK AFTER YOU)”… You will connect with the widow when I meet her tomorrow. Read this tale in the meanwhile.
18/n Day-2 20 Mar 2021 #MeetingForcesWidows #RoadTrip Doing three road trips a year to meet Forces Widows is mentally very stressful. Is it a happy or sad occasion? Women & Children who I would have never met in life look forward. I look forward even more. They are family.
19/n Day-2 20 Mar 2021 #MeetingForcesWidows #RoadTrip I carry 15-20 kgs of sweets for the children and widows. It is with such pain that I don’t carry sweets to a widow I meet for the first time, a ‘fresh forces widow’. She is a widow not by choice. I will meet 5 families today.
19/n Day-2 20 Mar 2021 #MeetingForcesWidows #RoadTrip Two widows I meet today will be for the first time. One was widowed just six months back. He husband dies in LoC firing. Second widow is wife of ex PARA(SF) Havaldar who died in retirement about a year back.
20/n Day-2 20 Mar 2021 #MeetingForcesWidows #RoadTrip I speak to them regularly but meeting them for the first time today. Neither are they widows by choice, nor am I there as a family friend or relative. My association is much deeper. UNIFORM. It’s very difficult to understand.
21/n Day-2 20 Mar 2021 #MeetingForcesWidows #RoadTrip I have two distinct aims of taking you through this real time road trip meeting Forces Widows and children.
1. Make everyone aware of life of a Forces Widow.
2. Education Management of their children.
I will help you through.
22/n Day-2 20 Mar 2021 #MeetingForcesWidows #RoadTrip Read FIVE articles links of which follow.
23/n Day-2 20 Mar 2021 #MeetingForcesWidows #RoadTrip Second Article: AWARENESS SERIES : ARMED FORCES WIDOWS - PART 2 –WIDOWS - GO DIE A THIRD DEATH…
24/n Day-2 20 Mar 2021 #MeetingForcesWidows #RoadTrip Third Article: AWARENESS SERIES - ARMED FORCES WIDOWS - PART 3 – DISCRIMINATION IN DEATH…
26/n Day-2 20 Mar 2021 #MeetingForcesWidows #RoadTrip I have the second aim of 'Education Management' of children of deceased soldiers. I will take that on after I conclude the trip. Bye for now. Breakfast at… A widow with whom I am since 18 years.
27/n Day-2 20 Mar 2021 #MeetingForcesWidows #RoadTrip The family’s complete story was captured in my story ‘Neeli Chhatri Wala Dekhaga’. Today had breakfast with them. 18 years association with the widow and her three children who were 14,15&16 yr old in 2003. ImageImage
28/n Day-2 20 Mar 2021 #MeetingForcesWidows #RoadTrip Meeting colleagues is always nice. Mohan was a recruit gunner when I joined army in 1982. Met him regularly after I retired in 2006. Today again at Dasuya. Image
28/n Day-2 20 Mar 2021 #MeetingForcesWidows #RoadTrip Uchhi Bassi, Dasua, on 01 Jan 2019, while world was wishing a happy new year, Hav Subhash died of heart attack while giving duty on a post in Rajasthan. Two daughters then were in Class VI and VIII. She has held on well so far Image
29/n Day-2 20 Mar 2021 #MeetingForcesWidows #RoadTrip Meeting PARA(SF) widow for the first time. Her chi stem are being supported by Twitter friends who chose to be anonymous. It was lunch time and like a good traveller, I don’t say no when I see lunch ‘time’.
30/n Day-2 20 Mar 2021 #MeetingForcesWidows #RoadTrip Her husband served in PARA(SF) for 24 yrs, came on retirement and passed away after 5 yrs. really small kids. She was referred to by my unit JCO Sub Mankesh (in pic). Twitter friends are sponsoring their education. Image
31/n Day-2 20 Mar 2021 #MeetingForcesWidows #RoadTrip Just see how short our memory is. On 02 Sep, in pak firing on LoC Subedar Rajesh was Killed in Action. Entire country, social media and Punjab erupted with nationalistic fever. Does anyone remember? With me is the widow. Image
32/n Day-2 20 Mar 2021 #MeetingForcesWidows #RoadTrip Seventh months and many more have died thereafter. Families and children suffer. It pays to invest in dead soldiers. One RIP, one Lest We Forget, one Salute and wait for the next dead. WE HAVE DEAD SOULS. See where they live.
33/n Day-2 20 Mar 2021 #MeetingForcesWidows #RoadTrip Sub Rajesh was son of the gentleman in white, who in turn was in same unit from 1968-1988. Father-Son served Indian Army and national from same unit. I proudly say it was my unit too. Image
34/n Day-2 20 Mar 2021 #MeetingForcesWidows #RoadTrip While on way to meet parents of Capt Ajay Singh Rana, Sena Medal (POSTHOMOUS) I was informed by his father of a Corona case in home. Will visit them next time. Image
35/n Day-2 20 Mar 2021 #MeetingForcesWidows #RoadTrip Calling off Day - 2 Going yo Nagrota Surian, one of the remotest villages to stay and have a drink with my retired unit Subedar. Will stay with him for the night. Good night
36/n Day-3 20 Mar 2021 Good Morning, Day 3 commences and I am already on road. Stayed fir night with my unit Subedar who retired in 2002. We served together for 20 years. Evening was a flashback of life. #MeetingForcesWidows #RoadTrip Image
37/n Day-3 21 Mar 2021 #MeetingForcesWidows #RoadTrip Morning walk in Pong dam reservoir area farthest and opposite side of dam. Migratory birds in thousands. Nagrota Surian is very remote and on the edge of reservoir. Water has receded. ImageImage
38/n Day-3 21 Mar 2021 #MeetingForcesWidows #RoadTrip Joys of going in deep rural areas. Bird Sanctuary in Nagrota Surian is on reservoir edge. Beautiful sight awaited us.
39/n Day-3 21 Mar 2021 #MeetingForcesWidows #RoadTrip Started for meeting next widow but not before saying warm thank you to the entire family of my unit subedar. Image

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Col Sanjay Pande

Col Sanjay Pande Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @ColSanjayPande

6 Dec 20
1/n SUNDAY-FUNDAY Bringing you 14 MILITARY TALES for sheer fun of reading and enjoying. 1st-
BOLE SO NIHAAL-SAAT-SRI-AAKAAL… Many years in Punjab have made me more 'Sikh' than most Sikhs. 'Nit Name' & 'Ardas' are part of my daily prayers from last 30 years
2nd - RISING SUN AND A MILLION DOLLAR SMILE : ARUNACHAL PRADESH : MENCHUKA 1987… Adi tribe was spread over the mountain slopes. Widely interspersed by distances. Small rivulets joined the main river..
3rd-WILD ELEPHANTS : POOP THAT SHOOK ME… How close have you been to a herd of wild elephants? I never desired it but….the smell of wild elephants….
Read 16 tweets
4 Dec 20
1/n My effort to continuously improve your experience on my website, which has large number of varied topics, I have added 'TAGS" that will help you read just what 'you' want to read and not everything I write.

The website has six categories.
2/n Each category deals with a specific subject. All articles are held category wise. You did not have a choice earlier to sub divide as per subjects. The reader experience has been taken a step higher by introducing 'TAGS". Each Tag is a specific subject and regardless......
3/n of which category it belongs, the tags pick up similar topics from all six categories. I will explain it with help of one Category.



Military Tales…
Read 7 tweets
14 Nov 20
1/n SAMMAAN AUR JUBAAN - HONOUR AND COMMITMENT-Happy Diwali to all of you. May this festival bring out the goodness in each one of us.

I launched something today and pray to God to let me succeed.

A Twitter friend is developing an app for “Sammaan Aur Jubaan”. Contd...,
2/n SAMMAAN AUR JUBAAN - HONOUR AND COMMITMENT-Keeping the Honour of Forces Widows and Commitment given by good human beings, Sammaan aur Jubaan is about being HUMANE. Happy Diwali to all of you. May this festival bring out the goodness in each one of us. We believe that :
3/n We believe that :
1. There is no dearth of good human beings. 2. These good human beings are always ready to help needy. 3. They don’t know how to help and if they donate does it ever reach the intended person? 4. They simply sit tight.
Read 8 tweets
12 Sep 20
1/n #MeSanjayPandeThinks 12 Sep 2020 #DidYouKnow ??

Why is India looking at Army, Navy and Air Force Chiefs? Do they really matter?

MoD has five Secretaries heading different departments.
2/n 1/4 #MeSanjayPandeThinks 12 Sep 2020 #DidYouKnow ??
MoD has five Secretaries heading different departments.

1. MoD Secretary No.1-Department of Defence (DoD). The “Defence Secretary” heads DoD responsible for the defence of India, preparation for defence and all acts .....
3/n #MeSanjayPandeThinks 12 Sep 2020 #DidYouKnow ?

....all acts as may be conducive in times of war. He is tasked to ensure the defence of the country and not that of the Service Chiefs, nor of the President or PM.
Read 12 tweets
4 Sep 20
1/n #ChinaInQuagmire2020 This is a new thread that will cover Politico-Military quagmire China finds itself in today. This thread should ideally be read after reading my thread covering 58 years of paralysis post 1962. Is has hashtag #IndoChinaCrisis2020

2/n #ChinaInQuagmire2020 Since 1987, when at five years service I was posted to Arunachal, China fascinated me. The more I tried to read and find about its military-the more blanks I hit. Fascination was converted to intrigue, intrigue to SHOCK. I would discuss China with .....
3/n #ChinaInQuagmire2020 .seniors, Staff Course qualified officers, Divisional Staff, Sand Models and courses, a common trait came out. WE WERE CLUELESS. Old Int reports, apology in place of Chinese ORBAT. After Arunachal had a year break and found myself in Chushul-Pangong Tso
Read 20 tweets
30 Aug 20
1/n #VeteranOrOrphan VETERAN OR ORPHAN : Ever thought that the immaculately turned up jawans on Rajpath smartly marching are soon to become Orphans? Veteran Orphans. Strange isn’t it? I introduce you to the DARK WORLD OF A SOLDIER AFTER RETIREMENT.
2/n #VeteranOrOrphan Age at retirement
👉🏻Sub Major-51-52 yrs(-8 to -9 yrs)
👉🏻Sub-47-48yrs (-12 to -13yrs)
👉🏻Niab Sub by 44-46yrs (-14 to -16 yrs)
👉🏻Hav by 40-41yrs (-19 to -20 yrs)
👉🏻Naik-39-40yrs (-20 to -21 yrs)
👉🏻Sepoy-35-37yrs (-23 to -25 yrs)
In ‘-‘ yrs left to attain 60yrs
👉🏻Subedar Major - 0.2 %
👉🏻Subedar - 2 %
👉🏻Niab Subedar by - 3 %
👉🏻Havildar by - 10 %
👉🏻Naik - 20 %
👉🏻Sepoy - 65 %


95% of jawans you see in RD Parade will face UNEMPLOYMENT for 20-25 years
Read 30 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!