KALLAKURICHI: Havildar A Ezhumalai (40) was in for a rousing welcome as he stepped off his train at Kallakurichi district. The residents of Kozhundirampattu village had organised a procession in honour of the retired army man who returned on Monday after 19 years of service. He had served short stints at Jammu, Srinagar and Delhi and his last stint was in Ahmednagar Maharashtra.
While Kozhundirampattu village has over 200 persons who have served in the forces -- which include the Army, CRPF and BSF, Ezhumalai is the first person to receive such a welcome. "Many people from our village have served in the Army, but this is the first time that the villagers gave such a grand welcome to a retired army man. My family felt really proud on seeing the grand welcome for me at the village,” Ezhumalai told TNIE.
This celebration is courtesy the ex-servicemen association. Formed in January this year, the guild aims to encourage youngsters to join the army. Association secretary K Joseph said, " In the past, retired army men and their families in our village were struggling and had doubts about what they should do next." So, we started the group to guide the retired personnel and also welcome the retired army men coming to the village in a grand way, he said adding that this will also encourage the young people to join the army.
“We are planning to include people who have retired after serving in BSF and CRPF in this association soon, as they are also facing similar issues,” Joseph said.