Thane-based groups come together to send Diwali sweets to Army personnel
After a Dombivli-based man floated an idea to share Faral, a collection of snacks and sweets, with Army personnel, five different groups from the area came together and sent 8,008 packets to Army personnel serving in the borders.
Kunal Sutavane, 35, owner of travel agency Vivisu Dehra, has a few relatives serving in the Army and India Air Force. He used to send sweets to a few Army personnel every year through them.
He said, “We always celebrate Diwali by giving gifts to our dear ones. The armed forces are there on the border; therefore we can celebrate such festivals happily. Every year, I used to send some sweets but a in a very small scale. While discussing the idea with a member of Hindu Nav Varsh Swagat Samiti in Dahisar who used to send such sweet boxes to the border, we decided to make it big his year. Accordingly, we floated the idea on social media, following which two more groups (Bharat Vikas Parishad from Panvel and Sadguru’s Welfare and Educational Trust, Dadar) joined us. We have sent almost 8,008 boxes to seven different parts of the border so far.”
Ashish Sakhalkar, 45, head of Hindu Nav Varsh Swagat Samiti, said, “It’s is our group’s tradition to send sweets during Diwali to Army personnel every year. We started this ritual after one of our friend’s son joined the Army. He is now in Ladakh regiment. This year, we wanted to double the amount of boxed than last year’s 2,000. After we discussed this with Kunal and two other groups, we thought we can actually do it in a bigger scale. We posted a message on social media sites about our plan and several people from villages to those living in other countries helped us financially. Because of all the support, we sent 8,008 sweet boxes along with 19,000 healthy nutritious laddoos, 2,500 bottles of SPF 50 sun screen lotion of 100 ml each, two boxes of sweet lime juice and 550 greeting cards.”
Sutavane said, “Through our relatives serving on the border, we took permission from each of the seven regiments. Then we sent out our orders to sweet shop owners. Students from Divya Vidyalaya Residential School for Blind and Mentally Challenged Tribal Children in Jawhar made 1,000 boxes of sweets. Children from different areas of Dombivli, Dahisar and specially-abled children from Dadar made greeting cards for Army personnel.”
The boxes were sent to Army personnel posted at Jammu, Leh Ladakh, Imphal-Manipur, Jorhat-Assam, Shillong-Meghalaya, Tawang-Arunachal Pradesh, and Udhampur borders.
Sakhalkar added, “We received a call that senior Army officials appreciated the efforts.”