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Capt. Manoj Pandey: Remembering the Khalubar hero on his birthday

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By Ila Garg

Kargil War Heroes – Part 2

Captain Manoj Kumar Pandey was an officer of the Indian Army of the regiment 1/11 Gorkha Rifles. Hailing from Sitapur district in Uttar Pradesh, Captain Pandey was the valiant son of a small businessman, Shri Gopi Chand Pandey. Since childhood days, he had a keen interest in sports, particularly boxing and body building.

At t548946_490433394344816_847114203_nhe age of 24, Pandey chose to sacrifice his life during the Kargil war, instead of accepting defeat at the hands of the enemy. He was posted at Khalubar Hills, Batalik Sector. On 11 June 1999, he succeeded in forcing back the intruders from there. Then, he efficiently led his men to capture the Jubar top which was considered as important post during the war due to its strategic location. He had almost accomplished the objective when the enemy fired upon them. The attack could not stop Captain Pandey from surging ahead. Bullets were hailed at him, wounding him but he was determined. His courage acted as an inspiration for his troops who together marched ahead to claim the bunkers.

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Khalubar top – where the hero won his last battle

It was during Operation Vijay which involved reclaiming Jubbar Top, Khalubar Hills in Batalik Sector, that he breathed his last. His supreme sacrifice and undaunted courage is evident in his acts. He fought till the last breath, single-handedly killed two enemy soldiers and destroyed their positions with grenade.

He was awarded India’s highest military honour, Param Vir Chakra for his courage during adverse times. His valour was much talked about. His family is proud of him and so is the nation.

Today on his birth anniversary, NewsGram presents some rare photographs of this brave-heart who left behind his mother, father and younger brother Manmohan Pandey for the sake of his nation and countrymen. Let us not forget what he did for our country. The tenacity which he showed, the tough fight that he gave, is exemplary.

MK Pandey
Illustration By: Ila Garg

Joined National Defense Academy, Kharagbasla, Pune
Joined National Defense Academy, Khadakwasla, Pune

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One year training in IMA, Dehradun

 

 

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Post Script: I thank Anasuya Mitra for letting me use these pictures. Also, I sincerely thank the Captain’s parents – Smt. Mohini Pandey and Shri Gopi Chand Pandey.

More in this segment:

Kargil War Heroes – Part 1
Kargil War Heroes – Part 3
Kargil War Heroes – Part 4
Kargil War Heroes – Part 5
Kargil War Heroes – Part 6
Kargil War Heroes – Part 7
Kargil War Heroes – Part 8
Kargil War Heroes – Part 9
Kargil War Heroes – Part 10
Kargil War Heroes – Part 11
Kargil War Heroes – Part 12
Kargil War Heroes – Part 13
Kargil War Heroes – Part 14
Kargil War Heroes – Part 15

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May 13 is Ronald Ross’ 160th Birth Anniversary: Finding the course of Dreaded Disease ‘Malaria’ – for 8 Annas

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Ronald Ross, Wikimedia

May 13, 2017: Affecting humans across all continents for centuries, this debilitating disease was long believed to be caused by unhealthy vapours, which gave its name – malaria (from Latin for bad air). While several scientists in the 19th century began zeroing in on its actual cause, the definitive proof was obtained by a British doctor in India who paid a volunteer eight annas for being bitten the same number of times by the suspected vector.

And Ronald Ross, who would be knighted and win the second Noble Prize for Medicine (not without controversy), celebrated his discovery by writing a poem to his wife – ending “I know this little thing/A myriad men will save/O Death, where is thy sting? Thy victory, O Grave?” (the last lines a reworking of the hymn “Abide With Me”).

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Though the discovery in August 1897 was built on work of many scientists around the world since the beginning of the century, Ross (1857-1932), whose 160th birth anniversary is on Saturday (May 13), was also a mathematician, novelist, dramatist, poet, amateur musician, composer and artist though it is as a persistent — and impulsive medical researcher he is most famous.

Born in Almora in the family of a British general, he studied in Britain where he proved to be exceptionally good in mathematics and wanted to be a writer but was admitted to St Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical College by his father in 1874.

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Though he spent most of his time writing poems and plays, he did pass his examinations to become a surgeon in 1880. He entered the Indian Medical Service in 1881 and was posted to various areas including Madras, Bangalore (where in 1883 he noticed mosquitoes could be controlled by limiting their access to water and suffered from malaria himself), Baluchistan and even the Andaman Islands.

His interest in malaria was sparked by a meeting with Sir Patrick Manson, the “father of tropical medicine”, during a spell of leave in London in 1894 and they discussed findings of Charles Laveran, a French army surgeon in Algeria who had discovered parasitical cells in the blood of a patient.

It was in Secundrabad, where he was posted in 1895, that Ross began his research to ascertain whether mosquitoes transmitted malaria parasites, but for years, made no headway.

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“Eventually in July 1897 he reared 20 adult ‘brown’ mosquitoes from collected larvae. Following identification of a volunteer (Husein Khan) infected with crescents of malignant tertian malaria and the expenditure of 8 annas (one anna per blood-fed mosquito!), Ross embarked on a four-day study of the resultant engorged insects. This ‘compact’ study was written up and submitted for publication.

“Imagine today sending an article to a leading medical journal ‘in which you describe observations on novel objects found on the midguts of just two ‘brown’ mosquitoes, obtained from larvae of natural origin, that you had previously fed on a naturally infected patient – with no appropriate controls and no replicates! What hope would it have of getting past the editor and reviewers,” asked Robert Sinden in an article on Ross and his discovery in the January 2014 bulletin of the World Health Organisation.

Sinden, of the Faculty of Natural Sciences in London’s Imperial College, however goes on to say that despite the “perceived inadequacies of the study design, it is difficult to overstate the importance of Ross’s paper: the award of a Nobel Prize hardly does justice to the subsequent impact of his conclusions”, especially in identifying the most vulnerable stage in the parasite’s lifecycle for effective intervention.

But that was not the limit of Ross’ contribution to fighting this — or other dreaded diseases.

Before resigning from the IMS in 1899 after trying unsuccessfully to find the cause of kala azar in eastern India, he subsequently joined the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and continued to work on prevention of malaria in different parts of the world. He also developed mathematical models for the study of malaria epidemiology.

Ross, who won the Nobel in 1902 (after a tussle with Italian researchers who had also identified the cause in 1897), went on to set up the Ross Institute and Hospital for Tropical Diseases in 1926 which he headed till his death.

But despite his path-breaking work, malaria, which due to its high mortality and morbidity levels, has had the greatest selective pressure on the human genome in recent history, still exerts its malignant effect across some of the world’s poorest regions — though some hope lies in a vaccine due to be tested in Africa the next year. (IANS)

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West Bengal Celebrates 156th Birth Anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore

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Rabindranath Tagore, Wikimedia

New Delhi, May 7, 2017: 

“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.”- Rabindranath Tagore 

Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941 C.E.) was a Bengali polymath who rejuvenated Bengali literature and music, as well as Indian art with contextual modernism. According to English calendar, he was born on 7th May 1861.

He was the youngest son of Debendranath Tagore, who was a leader of the Brahmo Samaj, which was a new religious sect in nineteenth-century Bengal and which endeavoured a revival of the absolute monistic basis of Hinduism as laid down in the Upanishads.

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He was home-schooled; and although at seventeen he was dispatched to England for formal schooling, he did not complete his studies there. In his mature years, in addition to his many-sided literary activities, he looked after the family estates, a project which brought him into close touch with common humanity, grassroots which dragged him to social reforms. He also established an experimental school at Shantiniketan where he tried his Upanishadic ideals of education.

Tagore had early success as a writer in his native Bengal. With his translations of some of his poems, he became rapidly known in the West. His famous works are Gitanjali [1913], Saddhana, The Realisation of Life (1916)The Crescent Moon (1913)Fruit-Gathering (1916)Stray Birds (1916)The Home and the World (1915)Thought Relics (1921).

According to Bengali calendar, he was born on 25th day of Boishakh month, in 1422 Bengali Epoch. His anniversary is observed as per local Bengali calendar. The day of Boishakh 25th currently overlaps with either 8th May or 9th May on Gregorian calendar. However, in other states, Rabindranath Tagore Jayanti is observed as per Gregorian calendar on 7th May. In Kolkata, Tagore Jayanti is popularly known as Poncheeshe Boishakh.

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Rabindra Jayanti is an annually celebrated cultural festival, existent among Bengalis around the world, in the reminiscence of Rabindranath Tagore’s birthday anniversary. It is celebrated in early May, on the 25th day of the Bengali month of Boishakh.

Every year, many cultural programmes & events, such as : Kabipranam – the songs (Rabindra Sangeet), poetries, dances and dramas, written and composed by Tagore, are organised in this particular day, by a lot of schools, colleges & universities of Bengal, and also celebrated by different groups abroad, as a tribute to Tagore and his works.

Tagore’s birth anniversary is largely celebrated at Santiniketan, Birbhum in West Bengal, chiefly in Visva-Bharati University, the institution founded by Tagore himself with a vision of the cultural, social and educational upliftment of the students as well as the society. The Government of India Issued 5 Rupees coin in 2011 to mark the 150 Birth Anniversary in the honour of Rabindranath Tagore.

– by Sabhyata Badhwar. Twitter: @SabbyDarkhorse

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Melody queen Lata Mangeshkar pays tribute to Filmmaker Dadasaheb Phalke on his 148th Birth Anniversary

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Dadasaheb Phalke shooting with his moving camera, Image source: Book my show

Mumbai, April 30, 2017: Melody queen Lata Mangeshkar paid a tribute to filmmaker Dadasaheb Phalke, fondly known as the father of Indian cinema, on the occasion of his 148th birth anniversary on Sunday.

Dadasaheb Phalke made India’s first full-length feature film, ‘Raja Harishchandra’ in 1913.

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“Who can forget the king of the Indian film industry? Today (Sunday) is his birth anniversary. I salute him (Bhartiya Film industry ke janak DadaSaheb Phalke ji ko kaun bhul sakta hai. Aaj unki jayanti hai. Mera unko koti koti pranam),” Mangeshkar posted on Twitter on Sunday.

Before his death in February 1944 at the age of 73, Dadasaheb Phalke directed films like ‘Mohini Bhasmasur’, ‘Lanka Dahan’, ‘Shri Krishna Janma’ and ‘Gangavataran’. (IANS)