Pune, 17th October 2021: The 50th anniversary of India’s glorious victory over Pakistan in 1971 is being celebrated as Swarnim Vijay Varsh. As part of the celebrations, the Victory Flame or the Swarnim Varsh Mashaal lit from the eternal flame of the National War Memorial by the honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 16 Dec 2020 arrived at the National Defence Academy (NDA) on 17 Oct 21.
It was received by Lt Gen Asit Mistry, Commandant National Defence Academy, alongwith the officers, staff and cadets with a Presentation of Arms at the Trishakti Gate of NDA.
After the solemn reception, the Swarnim Varsh Mashaal was relayed by 270 cadets of 18 squadrons sequentially through approx 8 km route passing all prominent landmarks of the Tri-service training Academy of the country. Defence Civilians, school children and other civilians working in the Academy lined up enroute to greet the Victory Flame.
A flypast by three Super Dimona aircraft paid the tribute while the Mashaal crossed the iconic Sudan Block and the sacred Khetarpal Parade Ground, named after Second Lieutenant Arun Khetarpal, an alumnus of the Academy who laid down his life during the 1971 Indo-Pak war and was awarded the Param Vir Chakra posthumously. 600 cadets presented arms to the flame as it was marched through the parade ground.
The flame was then carried on a Boat, and ceremoniously escorted through the Khadakwasla Lake, prior to its reception at the ‘Hut of Remembrance’ in honour of the Ex-NDA martyrs.
The Commandant NDA, Deputy Commandant & Chief Instructor, and veterans from Pune city laid wreaths and paid homage with full military honors at ‘Hut of Remembrance’ which is a sublime cenotaph that commemorates the supreme sacrifice by the Ex-NDA officers in line of their duty and serves as an inspiration for the future generation of cadets for selfless service of the nation.
Thereafter, the event culminated with the formal handing over of the Victory Flame back to the team of Swarnim Vijay Mashaal.