BANGALORE: Bravehearts of the Indian Army and families which lost their bread-winners have started to check into Bangalore with emotions, pride and tales of Tricolour triumphs embedded close to their heart. On January 15 (Army Day), they will be honoured at the prestigious Investiture Ceremony for their priceless sacrifices and valour, during their call of duty. And, for the personnel of Madras Engineer Group and Centre (MEG& C) - also known as Madras Sappers - the event will be another opportunity to exhibit their matchless hospitality, discipline and determination - a trademark that has often separated them from the rest.
The solemn ceremony being hosted in Bangalore after a gap of nine years, will see Army’s Southern Command roping in their best men to ensure that a pin gets into a pinhole itself. It is for the first time in MEG’s 232 years of existence that an Investiture Ceremony is being held at their centre.
All the formation units under the Southern Command (Maharashtra, Gujarat, parts of Rajasthan and all Southern states) will be part of this solemn ceremony. The Command is headquartered in Pune with Lt Gen A K Singh as the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief. The Investiture Ceremony is completely choreographed by a team led by Major General A K Pradhan, General Officer Commanding, Karnataka and Kerala Sub-Area.
The Southern Command has a large mandate to guard areas right from Kanyakumari to parts of Rajasthan, thereby making it a formidable force within the Indian Army. There are two major static formations under the Southern Command - the MG&G (Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa) and ATNK&K (Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala).
“The Investiture Ceremony will see equal representation from all four formations. Army Day is celebrated all over India by having military parades, shows in national capital and all across six Army Commands,” Sitanshu Kar, Principal Spokesperson, Ministry of Defence, told Express over the phone from New Delhi.
Sources confirm that special security arrangements have been put in and around the ceremony venue (Basantar Auditorium) at MEG, with the sanitisation work being undertaken by counter-improvised explosive device experts. “Close to 1,000 people are expected to attend the event and Army has SOPs for security depending on the level of each event,” sources said.