RIP Hanamanthappa. You are our super soldier, our super hero. A heartfelt salute to you.
Siachen braveheart Lance Naik Hanamanthapp Koppad is no more with us. He now rests in the loving arms of our Mother India where he will no longer have to bear the life threatening hostilities of weather and the extreme environmental challenges. On this day, as a tribute to our super soldier, we bring to you some hair raising facts about the life of our bravehearts of Indian Army at the unforgiving Saichen glacier, the highest battlefield in the world.
1.Since the launch of Operation Meghdoot in 1984, Indian Army has lost 869 soldiers in the Siahcen glacier due to extreme climatic conditions and other related factors. There are more deaths in the region due to harsh weather than the line of control combat. Indian Army and Pakistan army, put together, have lost more than 4000 personnel due to the biting cold, avalanches, frostbites and other physical disorders.
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2. Siachen glacier spread across 76 kilometeres is the world’s highest battlefield with the presence of Indian army at an altitude of more than 20,000 ft. For the armed forces to maintain their post at such a high altitude means to battle against their own physical, mental and spiritual limits.
3. Snowstorms in Siachen may last up to more than 3 weeks with annual average snowfall being more than 35 feet. Sometimes, to protect themselves from freezing to death, as many as 6 soldiers have to live in igloos that are even less in size than a king-sized bed.
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4. The temperature can dip to less than -50 degree Celsius due to which the level of oxygen in the body of a soldier is exactly similar to an ICU patient with severe lung disorder. While these patients are confined to bed in the hospitals, our braveheart soldiers have to execute day long combat operations against the enemy and perform intense physical activity.
Image Credits : nydailynews.com
5. A prolonged stay such high altitudes results in a number of mental and physical disorders in our soldiers. Frostbite, nausea, depression, memory loss, speech problems and sleep deprivation are the most commonly found problems in the army personnel at Siahcen. Apart from this, many of the army personnel suffer from loss of appetite, low oxygen supply to the brain, dehydration, weight loss, impaired nutrition, high blood pressure, blood clots in brain, lungs and heart.
6. The glacier region is extremely remote and largely unpopulated with the nearest village settlement being 10 miles away from the army post. Due to this, our soldiers have to battle not only with the hellish environmental conditions, but also with isolation, lack of food and drinking water and inhospitable living shelters.
Image Credits : indiandefensenews.in
7. Unavailability of fresh food is another big challenge faced by the soldiers. They have to survive on tinned and preserved foods dropped in by Cheetah helicopters who themselves have to push well past their boundaries to reach the region. If the weather conditions are severe, the food is often swallowed by the accumulated snow.
Image Credits : imgarcade.com
8. For almost 365 days of the year, the soldiers have to face 35 feet of snow where they have to fight the enemy day and night to protect the Indian region and to keep them at bay. Also, they have to manually shovel away the snow and maintain their camp all day long which otherwise will be gulped by the heavy snow storms.
Image Credits : scoopwhoop.com
Despite these tough inhospitable climatic conditions, our braveheart soldiers continue to serve their motherland with utmost devotion and sacrifice their lives for the nation. Saichen unquestionably stands as the toughest call of duty but even then there has never been a shortage of soldiers who voluntarily opt to serve in the region.
Image Credits : indiandefensenews.in
We extend our heartfelt salute to the other 9 soldiers who died in the avalanche that stuck their post in Siachen on 3rd February, 2016. They were the brave sons of India and India will remain indebted to them forever and ever.
These superheroes have truly said, “When you go home, tell them of us and say, for your tomorrow, we gave our today”
Below is the hair raising video of our national anthem shot in Siachen glacior :