CHICAGO: Uttarakhand Samaj Of Greater Chicago (USOGC) organized an event to pay tribute to the Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) of Indian Arm Forces, Gen Bipin Rawat along with his wife Madhulika Rawat and 12armed forces personnel who perished in tragic military helicopter crash near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu on December 8.2021
He was on a visit to Defense Services Staff College at Wellington in Nilgiri Hills to address the faculty and student officers of the Staff Course during which this tragic accident occurred. While the whole India was mourning and grieving with this tragic loss, the heartbroken Indian diaspora from Greater Chicago area came together to pay a homage. Representatives of a dozen of Indian communities and organizations from Greater Chicago area supported and attended this event, which was organized at Chicago Kali Bari temple, Glen Ellyn, IL on Saturday, December 18, 2021. Flower petals were offered to these 14 martyrs in Shradhanjali.
In the opening speech Dr.Ajit Pant, a prominent member of Uttarakhand Samaj and Indian community, welcomed everyone and paid homage by mourning the irrecoverable loss of brave son and true soldier General Bipin Rawat, his wife and 12 other armed forces personnel. He also stressed that passing away of Gen Bipin Rawat is a big setback to US-India relationship. Gen Bipin Rawat was a promoter and part of design of the QUAD program (a strategic security dialogue between the United States, India, Japan and Australia) for diplomatic and joint military exercises.
Shailendra Rawat from USOGC thanked all the participants for supporting and coming together on a short notice and paid homage to the Gen. BipinRawat and 13 other precious lives lost in the tragic accident and prayed for their departed souls to rest in peace.
Ravi Rawat from USOGC thanked representative of different Indian communities for coming together and showing a support. He paid tribute to brave son of India, Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife and 12 other martyrs by expressing it as an irrecoverable loss.
Two-minute silence was observed by everyone. The renowned Acharya of Chinmaya Mission Omkara Center, MrsNirmita Dholakia recited a 7-minuteNirwanaShatkam prayer for the salvation of the departed souls.
A biographical video clip compiled by USOGC member Chandan Singh, was also played in the memory of Gen Bipin Rawat portraying his birth, family background, academics, military career, his inspirational speeches and various achievements and awards.
Mrs Richa Chand and Ravi Rawat from USOGC were very instrumental in aligning various people and community representatives come forward to say few words to pay the tribute. Ram Chakroborty, founder of the Chicago Kali Bari temple, in his homage speech mentioned that all should be proud of General Bipin Rawat, the marvelous way held and defended the country against enemies. Rajinder Singh Mago from Punjabi Cultural Society mourned the collective loss of 14 people who dedicated their lives for the nation, with a Sikh prayer and poem. Pundit Rohit Joshi from United Senior Parivar, Chicago offered a Bhajan with mantras for the departed souls.
Devesh Pandit from Brahm Samaj expressed how hard-working Gen Bipin Rawat was, who brought the transformational changes to unite the 3 branches of Indian armed forces. Ashok Singh, Shilvant Singh, Mrs Kalpana Sisodia, Kirtipal Singh Gohil and Pruthviraj Singh Solanki from Rajput Association of North America also mourned the loss of precious lives in this tragic accident.
Ramesh Malhan from United Punjabi Association recited a Shanti Prakaranam mantra prayer from Veda for the perfect peace of the 14 departed souls. Ulka Nagarkar, Ajit Gandhi, and Dinesh Jain from Maharashtra Mandal of Chicago grieved for the loss of great heroes of nation. Shridhar Damle from Friends of India Society International (FISI) also expressed his grievances on tragic loss of Gen Bipin Rawat and other martyrs.
The poet Mr. Rakesh Malhotra paid homage by reciting his poem titled “Pehle Desh Fir Shesh” (first comes nation then rest).Vikram Negi treasurer of USOGC, who also hails from Pauri-Garhwal, India, very close to the native place of Gen Bipin Rawat, also paid homage to him and 13 other martyrs by his inspirational speech. Nimish Jani of Schaumburg Township Trustee also paid tributes to brave son of the soil Gen Bipin Rawat.
The event concluded with Mrs. Smita Pant’s (Secretary of USOGC) speech who recited a poem titled “Pushp Ki Abhilasha” to also paid tributes to Gen Bipin Rawat and 13 other martyrs. Mrs. Richa Chand thanked USOGC members for organizing this event with a special thanks to Mr. Ravi Rawat for organizing the event including arranging for the snacks.