Siachen is a glacier that is situated in the Eastern Karakoram Range where the Line of Control between India and Pakistan ends. The name Siachen is derived from Balti language in which ‘Sia’ means rose plants scattered over a particular domain and ‘Chun’ means something found in bounty which overall means that Siachen refers to the area where roses are found in bounty.
This glacier is basically situated in the litigious grounds of Kashmir. It is declared to be owned both by India and Pakistan. Both the countries are battling from time to time since 1984. They sustain a military troop forever and a day. Though its name suggests as the bed of roses but basically it refers to bed of thorns of the same roses which ironically suggests the warfare grounds. The main conflict between the two lies at the non-demarcation on the cease-fire line on the map.
Sia La and Bilfond La are under the hands of India whereas Gyong La Pass lies under the control of Pakistan.
OM PRAKASH: LORD IN SIACHEN
In 1980, a weaponry soldier, Om Prakash, was sent to Malaun Post in Northern Glacier for vigilance. He in solitary fought with the enemies but had never returned back. No traces of him could be found, neither him and neither his dead body. There was a fair warning to all about nearing threats on the Glacier. The belief on OP Baba geared up. Temples were built in his name. Soldiers go and worship him before going on any mission and report about every detail of the same. He is worshipped as the Lord in Siachen.
LIFE OF SOLDIERS IN SIACHEN
Siachen is world’s largest non-polar region. It can be claimed as the third pole. Indian soldiers are posted there to keep an eye over Pakistan’s footwork. The sacrifices and adjustments made by the soldiers their make them the real heroes of India. The work done and the patience level of the soldiers are much higher in heights than the peaks of Siachen. Many soldiers sacrificed their lives on the line duty not much because of attacks of the enemies but more of unfavourable cold weather.
Here’s a short glimpse of the do’s and don’t’s which each soldier posted there has to follow:
- The soldiers there could not have a bath for 3 months as they are posted for the same time tenure as there is no availability of hot water and even they don’t shave because if they have a cut it will not stop bleeding.
- They have kerosene cylinders and burn it and keep it their tents to have warmth in their shelter. Kerosene is the vital component required there and it is that thing which never freezes.
- They use zigzag ropes for mountaineering so that they do not slip with the snow. They also use special ice-axe to clear away snow in the mountains.
- Soldiers play cricket, a way to entertain them.
- A soldier cannot touch his bare skin with steel; for example, gun’s trigger for more than fifteen seconds. He can get deadly frostbite by it. It can result to the cutting of toes or fingers or otherwise their some of the organs might fail.
- They need to heat their war equipments over stove that they do not get jammed.
- There is 10% amount of oxygen in Siachen than in the plains and the temperature there is not favourable for the normal individuals.
- Snow storms and blizzards can stay up to 3 weeks and the speed of the wind can reach up to 100 mph in seconds. The temperature may also drop down to minus 60 degrees.
- After the snow storms, the snow can exceed up to 3 dozen feet.
- There is a possibility in high altitudes that a person may have sleep disorders, loss in weight, no wish of eating anything and memory loss which in other words means that the body becomes fragile and begins to lose quality hence degrades.
- Soldiers are deprived of fresh food. If they want to have an apple or an orange it will in no time will turn as hard as a cricket ball. They have to survive on canned food for 3 months which are dropped at an altitude of more than 20 thousand feet through helicopters.
- Before 1984, only mountaineers came to Siachen. But after the threats discovered from the neighbouring nations, no one was allowed to go there except for the military.
- 1000’s of soldiers sacrificed their lives. Near Nubra River, there is a War Memorial which has the list of all names who sacrificed their lives on the line duty in Siachen.
It’s not possible for a normal human to sustain in that environment but our chivalrous do. They do it every single day. They risk their lives for their mother land and they are able to digest that any person or a nation has a bad eye for the same. They have taken up the challenge and have pledged to safeguard their nation. Nation Chauvinism prevails which is evident from the sacrifices of the lives of our army men. A plaque at the headquarters of Indian Army responsible for the safeguards of Siachen in Jammu and Kashmir reads, “We do difficult as a routine. The impossible may take a little longer.”, which statement is realistically being proved by these bold-hearted men. Infinite salutes for these men who protects us and our land. They will remain creditors for lifetime.