I have a special place for Independence Day in my heart. In 1959, I participated in my first-ever ceremony during my NCC days in Chandigarh in which NCC cadets joined the police in the march past for the very first time.
Cut to 2016, like previous years, it was quite a hectic day as I was the coordinator for all functions (except for Shaheed Smarak) held at Jalvayu Vihar Community Centre (JVCC), Sector 21, Noida.
My 70th Independence Day celebrations started with Ek Deep Shaheedo Ke Naam on August 14, at JVCC. Candles and deeyas were lit and homage was paid to freedom fighters and martyrs, while the congregation sang patriotic songs in perfet unison.
On August 15, my day started with celebrations at our laughter club in JVCC’s lawn. 25 children from ANAWA’s ‘ANKUR’ school joined us and participated with us. Miniature national flags and sweets were distributed to all present.
The JVCC president hoisted the national flag at 9 am. Patriotic chants of Vande Mataram and Bharat mata ki jai were reverberating around the society.
Thereafter, I went to Shaheed Smarak, Sector 29, Noida, and paid homage to the 36 martyrs of Gautam Buddh Nagar. A number of residents, including children, were trickling in to pay homage.
In the evening, I enjoyed the cultural programme put up by children. The fusion dance and desh bhakti songs by Wg Cdr Mehra were particularly outstanding. Over 800 residents had gathered to celebrate. The day ended with delicious South Indian snacks.
(Cdr Narinder Mahajan retired from Indian navy in 1994 and worked in the private sector for 6 years. In 2005, he started assisting JVCC management and Shaheed Smarak for JVCC News Letter, he has also been organising medical camps, competitions and sports day programmes for women, children, and other members. For the last few years, he has been disseminating vital information regarding welfare, pay and allowances, and general updates of Noida and canteens, MI Room and ECHS.)