THE LIFE AND STRUGGLE OF SOLDIERS: THE REAL HEROES

1 Oct 2021

Curtain Hug

INTRODUCTION
Today, our article focuses on the lifestyle and challenges faced by our country heroes, SOLDIERS. We all know that the soldiers constantly stake their lives for the safety of our country. We cannot imagine a single day in our life without knowing that our soldiers are patrolling the border. Our vigilant soldiers face many sleepless nights to ensure that all the country's citizens have a peaceful sleep in the nighttime. They are courageous, selfless, disciplined, and are willing to go to any extent to protect their country. They constantly struggle to make our country a better place to live. We know very little about the lifestyle of soldiers and their daily life challenges. An ordinary man cannot be able to survive a single day in the army. They face the toughest of the most challenging situations. They forsake their families for their country. Let's know about the daily life duties of a soldier at the spine-chilling border conditions.

DAILY LIFE OF A SOLDIER AT THE BORDER
The Indian soldiers are deployed at Indian Border (CAPFs), and the Indian Armed Forces are deployed at LAC and LOC.
The lifestyles of CAPFs and IAFs are entirely different. The conditions at the Indian border are more or less stable. The boundaries are completely secured except in J&K areas having occasional cross-border firings and terrorist infiltrations. Sparing few places, the CPAF officers have better conditions, and they are constantly attentive to terrorist infiltrations, illegal goods, cross-checking the visa of passports of tourists, etc. We can observe them doing their patrolling duties on the bench during the nighttime.






On the other hand, the Indian Armed Forces deployed at the LOC and LAC constantly face combat situations. Survival is the main challenge faced by the soldiers fighting in Ladakh and Siachen. In the LAC, there are more than 100,000 soldiers deployed across 872 km during the winter season, where the peaks go up to a height of 18,000 ft. The temperature can be as low as 3 degrees, which can further go down to -40 degrees Celsius. Some of the health problems they are up against are acute Mountain Sickness, high altitude pulmonary edema, deep vein thrombosis, cerebral venous thrombosis, and psychological illnesses, snow blindness, peeling of the skin due to blind conditions. The 1962 war document states that "a nearly equal number of casualties suffered by the Indians were weather casualties," lauding that it is "a tribute to the Indian soldier that even under such circumstances he fought and fought well." Our soldiers are deployed at 21,000 ft in Siachen, at 14,000-15,000 ft in Kargil and 14,000-17,000 ft in Eastern Ladakh," says Lt Gen P J S Pannu (retd), who commanded the XIV Corps from 2016 to 2017. "In both Siachen and Kargil, we have posts that have no access to the outside world once snowfall begins. The snow accumulates from 15 to 20 ft in Kargil, which is highly avalanche prone. This tells the severity of the situation they face.
One of the major adversaries they face in Ladakh or Kargil is a drastic drop in oxygen level. It reduces nearly by 25 to 65 percent. An acclimatization exercise will help the soldiers adapt to the draconian condition, which will generally last up to 14 days at different heights. This helps the body to accustom to low oxygen. The lack of oxygen can reduce their efficiency. They need to carry equipment which weighs up to 45 kg. Apart from carrying ammunition, they also carry clothing, multi-layered jackets, goggles, sleeping bags, snacks, water bottles, socks, and at least 24 hours' worth of emergency, high-calorie cooked rations. Due to low atmospheric pressure, food cannot be cooked, and the soldiers need to eat only canned food with high-calorie fruits and dry fruits. The essentials are dropped through air supplies. The soldiers are rotated after a period of 2 to 3 months. The soldiers face psychological problems like loneliness, depression, and fear.



We see that our soldiers are fighting very hard with the enemies and the circumstances and obstacles they are facing. We cannot repay their selfless sacrifice and the courage they show for their country. They are the real heroes of our countries. We should pay tribute and commemorate all the soldiers who shed their blood for the country's sake.

- By VINJAMURU V S N L R SRIVATSA
Content Writer
Social Journal