Srinagar: A CRPF battalion headquarters in the Dalgate area here came alive on Wednesday with its personnel dancing to hit Bollywood numbers and drenching each other in colours to celebrate Holi.
Though being away from their homes and families, the jawans were excited and full of energy as they exchanged greetings and offered sweets to each other.
“A soldier who works hard, also enjoys thoroughly,” commanding officer of the battalion Vijay Khatana told PTI.
Most of the personnel of the battalion are posted in sensitive Downtown areas of the city and have to maintain a high level of alertness.
On Wednesday, to celebrate the festival of colours, the jawans and the officers mingled with each other on a day when all are a family and there are no boundaries of ranks.
Khatana said the paramilitary personnel were away from their families, but the force and the battalion was their extended family.
“We remain for almost nine to 10 months in a battalion this is a part of our family. We take care of each other and treat this as a family only. They (jawans) get calls, video calls, from their family members. Since this is a non-family station, we are not in a position to accommodate their families. But, as and when they require leave, we sanction it so that they visit their home,” he said.
The personnel may be from different states and cultures but they shed their individual identity when they don the uniform.
“CRPF is generally referred to as mini-India, we come from different backgrounds, different religions, caste, creed, languages, but when we put on this uniform, our identity is this uniform. Under the garb of this uniform, we shed our individual identity, and this uniform is our identity,” Khatana said.
CRPF personnel Adesh Kumar said, “We celebrate Holi and other festivals together. This battalion is our family.”
Sepoy Bhaskar Chaddha described the force as “our biggest family”.
“We stay home for two-three months but this is where we spent most of our time,” he said.
While families are a huge part of their lives, for jawans the battalion is a real go-to family, both in times of happiness and sadness.
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