Naman was born out of an intent to pay homage to the valiant martyrs from Uttarakhand, by supporting their families, both financially and otherwise
In the harshest climatic conditions – from the burning heat of the deserts to the numbing cold of the glaciers – the brave and selfless defence personnel stand tall. There are countless stories of gallant men from the Kumaon and Garhwal Regiments who have laid down their lives in the line of duty. It is because of their sacrifices that Uttarakhand is known not only as Dev Bhumi, but also Veer Bhumi. As a premier institution of higher learning in the state, we believe in creating and sustaining long-lasting impact by caring for the community in which we thrive. While no measure can ever be enough to compensate for the loss of lives, UPES seeks to salute the bravehearts by caring for their bereaved families, both financially and otherwise, through a social initiative named Naman.
Under the project, besides financial assistance to the family of the martyrs, UPES shall:
- Fund complete school education of one martyr’s children every year
- Support the dependent of the martyr in finding job opportunities
- Provide special training and development to the martyr’s widow under Shakti, the existing women’s empowerment initiative
- Offer full higher education scholarships to the children of five martyrs from Uttarakhand every year
The project is an extension of the Shaheed Memorial T-20 Cricket Tournament, an annual event conceptualised in the year 2014, wherein eight teams had participated, which gradually increased to 20 Government/Public Sector Undertakings teams in the year 2020. Organised on a no-profit basis, the tournament is majorly sponsored by UPES and its employees. The participating teams also donate voluntarily to the cause.
The last tournament in 2019 was held in the memory of Vir Chakra (Posthumous) Awardee Naik Brij Mohan Singh from 9 Para (SF), a young soldier from Village Tunwala in Dehradun who went down fighting during the Kargil War on July 1, 1999. This year, the event raised funds for the family of gallant martyr Lance Naik Pradeep Rawat, who joined in the army in 2017 and was martyred in 2018 fighting for the country at Uri.
Chief Guest Shri Arvind Pandey, Cabinet Minister for School Education, Adult Education, Sanskrit Education, Sports, Youth Welfare, Panchayati Raj and Guest of Honour Maj. Gen. Rajendra Singh Thakur were present at UPES Bidholi Campus to pay homage to the brave soldier and interacted with his family.
Shaheed Pradeep Rawat leaves behind his wife and a twin son and daughter who are two years old. UPES raised around INR 2.5 lakh for the family through the tournament.
Paying tribute to Lance Naik Pradeep Rawat, Dr. Sunil Rai, Vice Chancellor, UPES said: “He was a valiant and courageous soldier who made the supreme sacrifice and laid down his life at the young age of 28 years for the nation. Shaheed Memorial Tournament and Naman are small steps from our side to honour him and martyrs like him and help their dependents live better lives. Education and its power can make it possible in many ways.”
While this noble act is a collective effort, it has flourished especially under the able and empathetic leadership of four passionate individuals working at UPES: Mr. Lokendra Dutt Sharma, Deputy Director, Human Resources; Mr. Manish Madaan, Deputy Director, Student Internships; Mr. Anant Mishra, Senior Executive, Student Support; and Mr. Manish Yagnik, Senior Manager, IT Admin.
“UPES never steps back when it comes to social responsibility of any kind,” says Mr. Lokendra Dutt Sharma, while talking about the motivation behind the initiative. He adds, “Right from its inception, UPES has been sensitive and active towards the society. We had conceptualized the activity with a purpose to pay tribute to the martyrs and support their family as a gesture for the sacrifice they had made for the country.”
He hopes that in the coming years, it would become a national-level event, where teams from across the states will participate. This, Mr. Lokendra says, will, in turn, encourage more people to be a part of this cause.
The philosophy of UPES has always been to be a university with a purpose. By committing to Naman, it takes another step in that direction.