Kolkata,A solemn felicitation function was held today at the Albert Ekka auditorium in Fort William to honour 50 Veer-Naris from West Bengal, whose husbands or sons were martyred in various wars and operations in the service of the nation.
The brief ceremony held under the aegis of Army Wives Welfare Association (AWWA) was presided over by Regional AWWA President (Eastern Command), Smt Kiran Rai. Also present were Regional AWWA President (HQ Bengal Area), Smt Prema Dhawan and other association members.
The poignant ceremony was surcharged with emotions as names of the 'Veer-Naris' and of their martyred warrior-husbands or sons were read out. While it was understandably difficult for some to restrain their emotions, senior AWWA functionaries present consoled and reassured them of the avowed support of the organisation.
“Although the felicitation of veer-naris are held every year, we remain in touch and reach out to them all through the year and take care of them,” said Smt Rai of AWWA's deep commitment towards their welfare.
Among the veer-naris present was Smt Asmerry Marandi from Murshidabad, whose late husband Sepoy Koranelius Marandi was killed in action in Sri Lanka on August 17, 1999. She was accompanied by son Marcareus, who was constantly by her side as she could not walk unassisted.
“My mother stopped eating for nearly six months after hearing the news of my father's death,” said Koranelius. “She also did not utter a word for over two years thereafter,” he added, explaining his mother's health status post the shock. Now in a much better state, she proudly comes to the event whenever invited, he stated.
Among others present also was Smt Rama Mazumdar, widow of late Naik Swapan Mazumdar who served with the Territorial Army. Her husband died in an operation against the militants in Tripura in 2002. A glint of pride was clearly evident in her eyes as she disclosed that her only son had also joined the army in April, this year. What made her even more proud was that he joined his father's former unit.
For the benefit of the veer-naris facilities such as specialist medical check-up, informative and interactive stalls by Rajya Sainik Board, Army Welfare and Placement Node were set up at the venue. Officials from Principal Controller of Defence Accounts (Pension), Allahabad were also present to assist the special invitees on the occasion.