Greeting to All Members of the Air Veterans Association.
I was contacted by JWO Sharad Phatak on 6 Dec 2020.At the outset, the Aim was to collect all experiences of All Air Warriors of the 1971 Warand he wanted to compile the data into a book for all especially the future generations. Later, in April this year, I started participating in Webinars on Zoom which was brilliantly conducted by Sgt TBR Rao online on Zoom. These Webinars were also started with the aim of listening to the Experiences of War Veterans of all Services about the 1971 War whose Golden Jubilee we would be Celebrating on 16 Dec 2021.
To me these were the beginnings of this Air Veterans Association which was the brainchild of these 2 Pioneer Air Veterans – Phatak & Rao. The Concept was wonderful and slowly the Webinars began to pick up and the Members began to grow and the library of War experiences began expanding at a good rate. This ultimately culminated in the Felicitation of Air Veterans and Heroes of the 1971 War at Hyderabad by the Governor of Haryana and the release of Sharad Phatak’s wonderful book and the re-release of books by TBR Rao & SS Krishnamurthy’s books at this grand function by Governor of Haryana. This function was very well conducted by TBR Rao and his team and earned accolades from all who attended. Sharad Phatak’s Aim of releasing his War Experiences book was very well achieved and the entire function was carried out in the finest traditions of the Indian Air Force.
Another Aim of this Association was to find and felicitate Air Warriors who had attained great success and distinction in life after Service. Many such eminent Air Warriors were identified and their achievements were highlighted both before this function on Webinars and also at this function these eminent personalities were felicitated.
I salute both Sharad Phatak & TBR Rao for their tremendous hard work and dedication for achieving their Aim thus far. I also would like to place on record the magnificent speech made by Air Marshal BN Gohkale at the Hyderabad function covering all aspects of the Air Veterans Association and how at the shortest notice such a lot had been achieved through the Large Spirit & Josh of all the members of this Association ably guided by Phatak & Rao. JAI HIND.