Army chief in native village, urges girls to join armed forces

Jhajjar (Haryana), Dec 26 (IANS) On his maiden visit to his native village after becoming chief of the Indian Army, General Dalbir Singh on Saturday urged people to educate their children, especially girls, and encourage them to join the armed forces.

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS) spent close to five hours in Bissan village in Haryana’s Jhajjar district, 85 km from Delhi, and interacted with local residents.

He was accompanied by his wife Namita, daughter and son.

Villagers saw an emotional moment as the chief of the fourth largest army in the world bent down to touch the feet of his father Ramphal Singh, a foot soldier of the same army which his son now commands.

The army chief shared his life experiences with villagers and people from nearby areas and encouraged them to work hard.

He also inaugurated a hall for indoor games at the local government senior secondary school.

When Dalbir Singh took over as COAS of the 1.3 million-strong army in July last year, villagers collected over 150 kg of ladoos and about 5,000 crackers to celebrate his elevation.

Ramphal Singh, who retired as a subedar of the army, and mother Ishri Devi have their house in the village.

Born in the village itself, young Dalbir Singh joined the Sainik School in Chittorgarh, Rajasthan and later qualified for the National Defence Academy in Khadakwasla in Pune. He was commissioned into the 4/5 Gurkha Rifles in 1974.

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