This small village with a big mission for the country

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K.A.Viswanathan

If you come across a village that has 350 families with little close to 3,000 people where more than 1650 people are in one profession while 46 young people have died of the same reason, what would you be thinking about the village? Undoubtedly, one may conclude that agriculture is the main profession and there must be some medical issues that have affected the village’s youngsters. But this village's story will give you a different feeling. 

Welcome to Apshinge village in Satara district in Maharashtra that has sent 1650 for the national cause to the Indian Army. During the first World War itself 46 men from this village lost their lives battling them. And since then there are hundreds who laid their life protecting Mother India in the 1962 China war, Indo-Pak war of 1965 and in 1971 when we fought for Bangladesh freedom with Pakistan. When you enter this village, a ‘Vijay Sthamb’ or war memorial at the entrance of the village will welcome you. It’s a poignant memorial which carries names of those who fought and died from this village in several war and war like situations chronologically.  On the entrance arch it clearly mentions “The only Military village in the country!” This name was given by the British for their contribution to the armed forces then.  Interestingly, this village has a record of at least one person either serving in armed forces or serving currently with armed forces. 

 

No wonder the Shanmukhananda fine arts and Sangeetha Sabha, Matunga  honoured 75 war veterans from this Apshinge Military village as part of the Amrit Mahotsav celebrations. on August 15 in the presence of  the General Officer Commanding, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa Lt. General H.S.Kahlon. 

 

Since children from the village are given training in the schools itself for military services, Shanmukhananda is planning to set up a state-of–the–art Gymnasium for the children who want to join the forces to enhance their physical performance. Apart from this, they will redevelop the existing school building, and build a community hall with office facilities for the army men, announced  Dr. V. Shankar, president of the Shanmukhananda Sabha. On the Independence Day, the Sabha  conferred “Shanmukha Shauriya Ratna” award to this village,  which carries a cash prize of Rs5 lakhs, a citation and mementos.

 

Shanmukhananda has been every year felicitating the martyrs' families of those who died while on  duty on the Independence day. This year 25 widows of martyrs  were  felicitated by presenting them Rs.2 lakh each and a memento.  in this function Seventy Five students of the Sabha’s Sangeetha Vidhyalay and Rajeswari  Bharatanatya Kala Mandir, Matunga, also participated.

 

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