In a heart-warming decision, the DGCA has made it compulsory for Airlines to make an announcement about whenever they carry the mortal remains of a martyred soldier. The Airport Authority of India has also been instructed to build designated areas for offloading the casket carrying the remains of a martyr.
The DGCA addressed through a mail to the Chief Executive Officers of airlines stated that the pilot-in command should make an announcement informing the passengers about the flight carrying the mortal remains of a martyred soldier. However, DGCA dropped the proposal of observing 30 seconds of silence on flights, carrying a soldier’s body. DGCA stated that the pilot-in command should make such an announcement before the take-off. The announcement will also include the name, rank and regiment of the soldier whose remains are being carried in the flight. The pilot will have to announce, “He made the supreme sacrifice for the security and safety of the country. Jai Hind.”
A senior DGCA official stated that this direction has been issued on the demand of the Defence Ministry. The official added, “Some military veterans have been demanding this for years now, so the government finally took this step and issued the instructions.” He also said that it is believed that such an announcement would allow the passengers to know about their army and many of them might wish to pay homage by observing silence. Meanwhile, Air India has already directed its pilots to follow this process, the private airlines are yet to initiate this.
This is a welcome move and a huge step in the right direction. It will, in all probability, have a major effect as the passengers will be made aware about the fact that the freedom, we cherish, does not come for free but at the cost of valor and sacrifice of our soldiers. This will fill them with a sense of gratitude and also make the society at large, sensitive and considerate about the contribution of those serving in the armed forces. This is a very good start towards making the society aware about those who lay their lives for the country. There can be no greater encouragement for a soldier than a grateful citizenry supporting and expressing its sense of gratitude towards him. It would be a great achievement for the government if it is able to educate the citizens about the extremely strenuous duties discharged by soldiers of the country.
At this juncture, Rajya Sabha Member, Rajeev Chandrashekhar also deserves to be commended. Four years ago, the legislator had written to the then Air India chairman Rohit Nandan questioning why one of its crews had turned down the request of an Army officer accompanying the mortal remains of a martyred Army Major to make an announcement about the presence of the moral remains of the martyred officer on the flight. Rajeev Chandrashekhar had then said, “The Major sacrificed his life and future for the countrymen but the bureaucratic manner in which the airline crew responded to this request, is sad and shameful, and conveys an impression of callousness and disrespect towards brave men and women, on part of Air India.” The Member of Parliament also stated that if rules prevent from honouring our heroes then such rules need to changed or abolished altogether.
Now, as the much-needed decision directing the airlines to make such an announcement has been taken, Chandrashekhar tweeted about the same and also posted the letter that he had written four years ago.
And finally ovr 4 yrs aftr I first rqstd govt aftr a shameful incident – DGCA makes it mandatory for airlines to announce n honor martyrd bravehearts on their final journey home ????
— Rajeev Chandrasekhar (@rajeev_mp) November 5, 2018
Chandrashekhar and everyone who demanded that our heroes and brave-hearts be honoured, as well as the DGCA, deserve accolades. It was only because of such tireless efforts that the society is finally going to move towards acknowledging the sacrifice of troops, safeguarding this nation round the clock.