20 to 25 Army personnel killed by avalanches every year: Rajnath

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said that he was saddened to learn that every year 20 to 25 Indian Army personnel lose their lives, not in war or terrorist incident but in avalanches.

Interacting with a team of Tiranga Mountain Rescue (TMR) here, he said: “I am very sad to know that every year, 20 to 25 personnel of our Army lose their lives in such accidents. That is, what can be more sad than this, no war, no terrorist incident, yet so many of our soldiers lose their lives in avalanche.”

He commended TMR for saving the lives of the Armed Forces personnel from threats like avalanches, besides raising awareness and imparting training to them.

‘Tiranga Mountain Rescue’ team is a non-profit organisation affiliated with the Indian Army since 2016 and is instrumental in providing dedicated avalanche rescue and training to Indian Army personnel in mountain craft.

The team provides multiple teams of highly motivated and qualified avalanche rescue professionals who are deployed in snow bound and difficult areas during the winter season.

Rajnath Singh termed ‘Tiranga Mountain Rescue’ as a source of strength to the soldiers who are deployed in difficult areas and are exposed to various threats such as avalanches.

He appreciated the fact that there has been no Army casualty in the locations where it is deployed.

Stressing that ‘Tiranga Mountain Rescue’ has a big responsibility on their shoulders as in the coming times threats such as avalanche may increase due to climate change, he described the work being carried out by it as a shining example of partnership between the government and civil society.

He emphasised that a nation moves forward on the path of development only when the government and civil society work together. “Government and civil society are the wheels on which the country can achieve the goal of all-round sustainable development,” he said.

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