Mumbai: In a unique Republic Day celebration, the Sri Shanmukhananda Fine Arts and Sangeetha Sabha (SSFASS) honoured 19 army personnel who have suffered disabilities while in action, an official said here on Saturday.
Co-hosted by the Indian Army, it also included “Unstoppable”, a dance performance by disabled soldiers sitting in wheelchairs, while deaf-dumb soldiers performed without wheelchairs, as their family members and other cheered and clapped for them.
The programme included Bharat Natyam, Martial Arts, Bhagvad Gita, Army Men In Action and finally rendition of Vande Mataram, as the 69th Republic Day also coincided with the centenary of SSFASS founder V. Subramanian.
Speaking on the occasion, the General Officer Commanding, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa, Lt General Vishwambhar Singh, said that he skipped an official government function in Raj Bhavan on Friday night to remain present with the jawans at Shanmukhananda Hall.
“This function, to be with my soldiers, is more important to me. Being a soldier is not a profession but a passion and they (soldiers) dedicate their entire lives in the service of the nation,” Lt Gen Singh said.
He said the Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre at Kirkee in Pune has several skill development programmes to take care of welfare of the soldiers and enable them lead healthier and happier lives post-injuries.
On the occasion, Lt Gen Singh released a book “India 5000 Years Old – 70 Years Young” written by SSFASS President V. Shankar, who also donated Rs 1 million to the Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre.