By Priyanka S Raj
Each year Raksha Bandhan festival is celebrated across the country to mark the sense of brotherhood. However, there are some of them who miss the festival due to the call and commitment of duty to which they are assigned. They are the armed forces of India, who are for us to protect the territory and safeguard us day and night so that we can live in peace. In such a scenario, it is our duty to make them feel at home and honour them with the bond of true love, which we cherish with our own brothers and sisters.
This year women of Marwari communities celebrated Raksha Bandhan with the personnel of 30 battalions of Border Security Forces (BSF) and 67 battalions of CRPF of Meghalaya.
The initiative was taken by the women of Marwari community who made a tradition of visiting the border to celebrate the occasion with BSF jawans establishing the new customs of patriotism and heralding the special bond between the BSF and them.
In this regard, the Force organised a special programme to celebrate Raksha Bandhan at Border Outpost (BOP) Dawki and CRPF headquarters in Shillong. A group of Marwari women ties Rakhis – a sacred thread on the wrist of personnel that defines a set of sentiments they preserve for the protection of the armed force. While tying Rakhis, the young girls and women wished the troops long lives and prayed for their protection from enemies.
“The initiative to celebrate the festival of love and bonding between brothers and sisters is being regularly undertaken by our Marwari mahila team to mark the solidarity with the soldiers who are deployed far away from their families,“ said a woman.
BSF Jawans speaking on the occasion said “we are happy that the women who came here from Shillong made us feel so special like our own home. They have honoured us by tying Rakhis in our hands.”
“My real sister may be far away from here but we still have sisters here who tied Rakhis to us. I feel so proud that our sisters from Shillong came and celebrated the festival with us,” said a BSF jawan Satyendra Pal Singh.
Expressing cheerfulness at the celebrations, a CRPF jawan said, “We are not able to celebrate every festival at our homes. We miss doing such things. These women made us feel at home and this is worth remembering for a long while.”
While on interaction with another BSF personnel Ramesh Yadav of 30 Battalion, he said: “It gives me immense amount of pleasure to celebrate Raksha Bandhan at the Indio-Bangladesh border with our sisters of India. It makes me feel like home and I am glad I got the opportunity to celebrate the festival with our sisters who visited us here at the border.”
Talking to this reporter one of the young girl Nikita, who tied Rakhi to the BSF personnel, stated, “We came here to tie Rakhis to the BSF personnel who work hard for the safety of this country and its people. We will continue coming here for such celebrations in the future.”
Speaking to the Reporter, Alok Bhattacharjee, DIG of CRPF 67 Battalion said: “On the occasion of Raksha Bandhan, I express my gratitude to the ladies of Shillong who came to celebrate Raksha Bandhan, and conveyed best wishes to us, remembered us. Most of us are far from families and could not celebrate the festival with their families, but we feel the privilege of being honoured by the women who celebrated the festival with us. We shall continuously be on our duty to protect our homeland with all our strength, with no regrets in our mind.”
“On the occasion of Raksha Bandhan, I express my gratitude to the ladies of Shillong who came to celebrate Raksha Bandhan, and conveyed best wishes to us, remembered us. Most of us are far from families and could not celebrate the festival with their families, but we feel the privilege of being honoured by the women who celebrated the festival with us. We shall continuously be on our duty to protect our homeland with all our strength, with no regrets in our mind.”
-Alok Bhattacharjee, DIG of CRPF 67 Battalion
“Traditionally, the Raksha Bandhan festival is celebrated with brothers and sisters, over a period of time, Raksha Bandhan has become the festival of universal brotherhood and we all come together to celebrate the sense of unity,” said the CRPF DIG.
The dedication of celebrating Raksha Bandhan with the military is on par in India and specially Shillong. It marks the sense of true family bond and love for the safety of the armed forces that are away from their homes and miss their family members on such an occasion. The women salute their efforts and dedication towards their duty, they perform day and night.
-The writer is Meghalaya-based defence correspondent