There are approximately 5000 veterans from the Indian Defense Forces who also reside here as part of the Indian Diaspora. Consulate General, India in Toronto decided to honour super senior Veterans over 75 years old with the award of “Varishta Yoddha”, which means Warrior of the Highest Order.
Veterans Association of Ontario was established in 1996 by Veterans of Indian Origin who live in Ontario. They were asked to provide details of senior Veterans who reside in the GTA, Ontario. It was a coincidence that the initial list contained 75 of these Veterans. The Consulate General had already honored Veterans over 90 years in 2020.
However, due to Covid restrictions they couldn’t be called at any central location. So, Ms. Apoorva shrivasta, Consulate General India Toronto, Consulate General India Toronto, decided to honor them at their home. These Veterans were over 100 years of age and had participated in many Battles. They were then honored in an emotional and fitting ceremony.
The annual tribute to them will be held at Hotel Holliday Inn, near Pearson Airport, on 03/10/2013 at 10.30 am. In addition to Mrs. Ms. Apoorva shrivasta, Mr. Ajay Bisaria, High Commissioner of India and Mr. Rajesh Thakre, Asst to Mil Attaché of India in Washington DC., will attend. The ceremony will include a presentation by some Veterans about their experiences in different Battle Fields.
It will also feature an award ceremony with “Varishta Yoddha” to the most senior Veterans. This will be an emotional, memorable, and honorable event for the Veterans and their families. They have all participated in the 1948-Kashmir Operations and Goa-Operations as well as the 1962 War with China, 1965-War with Pakistan, 1971-War with Pakistan, Kargil war against Pakistan. Many of these Veterans have shed blood, and nearly all of them have sweated and taken on the stress of guarding India’s security.
Three points I agree with Indian Diaspora regarding the contributions of Veterans are shared in most forums. Respect and success that we Indians have enjoyed in Europe and North America were also due to the sacrifices of millions upon millions of Indian soldiers during 1 first and 2 second WW without any stake.
They gave their lives for the belief that they were fighting alongside other Allies for a better world and Truth. All soldiers who served in the post Independent era contributed to India’s economic progress and allowed us all to migrate overseas with enough money to succeed in these countries. These Veterans have shown the highest standards of integrity, honesty, and moral character compared to other veterans. Diaspora should show respect for Indian Veterans. Yes, celebrate Poppy Day with all your gusto but remember your Veterans.
Mrs. Apoorva Shrivasta is an example of how to honor Veterans who have sacrificed their future for yours. These Veterans and their families will remember this moment, 50 years after they wore the uniform thousands of miles away from home. It is an emotional bond that is very special.