Residents of Noida and Ghaziabad paid tribute to Indian soldiers who were martyred in the fight against terrorists on Diwali by lighting diyas and candles. Residents said they were inspired by Prime Minister Narender Modi’s message of dedicating the festival to Indian soldiers through the #Sandesh2Soldiers Twitter campaign.
Over 2,500 diyas lit up the locality of Shalimar Garden on Sunday as residents arrived in numbers at the Gauri Shankar Park to light diyas.
“After listening to PM Modi’s message on the radio (on Sunday morning), we had announced to residents of the locality to light diyas and candles in the park in the evening to pay respects to martyred soldiers. Over 2,500 diyas were lit in the park and we named each one after the soldiers. We also observed a two-minute silent prayer,” Jay Dixit of Shalimar Garden said.
Residents of Indirapuram had paid tributes to soldiers on Saturday.
“We organised a prayer on ‘Choti Diwali’ for soldiers who died fighting for our country. We installed a flag in the park and residents were invited to pay respects by lighting a candle or a diya in front of the flag. We also put up a placard saying ‘ek din desh ke veero ke naam’ (one day for our country’s heroes),” Manisha Singh, secretary of Ashiana Upvan residents’ welfare association in Ahinsa Khand-2, Indirapuram, said.
Some residents’ groups had honoured the martyred soldiers for five consecutive days before Diwali at different venues across the city. “We lit candles at Lohia Nagar, Gandhi Nagar, Ashok Nagar, Ghanta Ghar and Nandgram for five days, up to Sunday, to pay respects to martyred soldiers. This way, we also raised awareness among residents and encouraged them to do the same,” TP Tyagi, president of RWA federation, Ghaziabad, said.
Members of the federation of Noida residents’ welfare association (FONRWA) also lit a diya each for the soldiers guarding the border, saying that this year’s Diwali is dedicated to them.
“At a time when our soldiers are sacrificing their lives for the safety of their countrymen, it is not proper to celebrate Diwali with pomp and show. Therefore, we celebrated Diwali on a low key and every senior member of FONRWA lit a diya each to remember the slain martyrs and pray for the soldiers who are doing their duty,” OP Yadav, secretary of FONRWA, said.