Major Akshay Girish Kumar Road

A major road in the city at Yelahanka was named after Major Akshay Girish, who lost his life fighting terrorists who had attacked an Army unit at Nagrota in Jammu on November 29, 2016.

Deputy Chief Minister Dr G. Parameshwar, who took to Twitter, expressed happiness and said a major road in the west Bengaluru will be named after Major Akshay Girish on Vijay Diwas.

Girish’s father Girish Kumar, a retired IAF pilot, lauded the efforts of the BBMP in naming a road after his son and said “Major Akshay Girish was not only our son, but son of the country who fought bravely to save lives of the hostages. He fought continuously for three hours.”

When roads are named after bravehearts and martyrs it will be an inspiration to the younger generations to emulate and help support our country in all situations, he said.

He said the government is proactive and helping the people of the uniformed services and help their family in distress.

Mayor Gangamike and others took part in the event.

Source: Deccan Chronicle

Workshop @ Jain University

Major Akshay Girish Memorial Trust along with Jain (Deemed-to-be) University held a workshop titled:

‘A LIFE OF HONOUR – CAREERS IN UNIFORMED SERVICES’, at Jain University Auditorium in Jayanagar, Bengaluru on 28 November 2018 from 10 am to 1pm

The Workshop was attended by about 150 students, both girls and boys studying in Degree Courses of Jain University.

Three major sessions were conducted by the Resource Team.

Introduction: The mission of Major Akshay Girish Memorial Trust was explained to the participants by Wg. Cdr Girish Kumar followed by the purpose of the workshop.

Session 1: The Information Session

This session gave indepth information on the many career opportunities in the uniformed services, i.e., the Army, the Air Force, Navy, the Coast Guard and the Paramilitary services. This session was conducted by Gp. Capt. Ashwani Bhakoo VSM. He talked about the short service and permanent commissions in the Military and the Paramilitary Forces. He touched upon areas like entrance examinations and selection processes, required qualifications, types of careers, pay scale, benefits and challenges. He also specified the current career opportunities for female candidates as not all options are as yet open to them.

Session 2: The Inspiration Session

This session was an interactive question and answer session with the panelists comprised of serving and retired Defense personnel with wide ranging experience. The panelists were Wg. Cdr. Pratap Deshpande (Retd), Lt. Col Sanjay Mishra (Retd), Lt. Col Sachin Bhatia and Capt Supriya Patil (Retd). Questions asked by the audience were related to preparation for the entrance examinations – both written and Services Selection Board (SSB). The panelists discussed these in detail, especially the SSB as many in the audience had queries related to this. Other topics of discussion were the diverse roles of uniformed personnel, women in service, facilities, opportunities for sports and adventure, family life in the services, competition and difficulty in rendering service. One very relevant question asked was how an aspirant could convince the parents to allow him/her to join the service as it involves physical danger. Another was the openings for non-technical (non-science stream) students in services. There were some in the audience who had tried a couple of times to join services, had been unsuccessful but still eager to join. All the questions were efficiently answered by the panelists.

Session 3: Scholarship Program and Achievement Awards

The Trust has collaborated with Jain University to provide awards announced by Meghna Girish and Major Arvind Kumar. The session explained the requirements and eligibility for these scholarships and awards. The scholarships are for the students of the Jain University who are in their undergraduate studies and motivated to try and join the uniformed services. The Achievement award is for any student from Jain Deemed-to-be University who makes it to the Military or the Paramilitary forces (Details in Annexure 2). To ascertain awardees for the academic year 2018-19, a questionnaire was given to the eligible candidates to fill up after the workshop (Annexure 3).

Vote of Thanks: Capt Rekha Sinha thanked the Trust members, the panelists, guests, the students of Jain Deemed-to-be University who were part of the workshop, the organizers and all those who contributed to make the workshop a success. 

The Chief Guest was Shri M S Santhosh, Joint Registrar, Jain University. Guests of Honour included Dr B A Vasu, Centre Head, School of Commerce Studies, Dr. B T Venkatesh, Examination Advisor-Jain University and Director for Pre-University Programs and Dr Nalini Satishchandra, Principal, Jain PU College.

  • Resource Team for this Workshop included the following Facilitators and Volunteers:
  • Capt. Ashwani Bhakoo VSM
  • Cdr. Pratap Deshpande
  • Col Sanjay Mishra
  • Col Sachin Bhatia
  • Capt Supriya Patil
  • Major Arvind Kumar
  • Capt Rekha Sinha
  • Cdr Girish Kumar
  • Mrs Meghna Girish
  • Nikunj Trivedi
  • Sonali Singh
  • Neha Girish
  • Sarita Deshpande
  • Tejas Saligram

FEEDBACK ON WORKSHOP

Very positive feedback has been received from students who attended. While Major Akshay Girish Memorial Trust thanks all for their comments, this brief report includes few representative responses.

  • The workshop conducted by the whole team was very motivational and inspiring as well. I would like to thank all of you to guide us as it helped us gain knowledge about the process of selection in the armed forces and for preparing for the entrance into the defence. The whole workshop conducted was systematic and the way of explaining and clearing the doubts were really clear and easy to understand. – Abhishek Mehta
  • The seminar (workshop) conducted by Major Akshay Girish memorial trust was an eye-opener. We gained a lot of information about the hundreds of job opportunities in the armed forces. It was an amazing session and gave us a clear picture about the life in defence. Truly inspired me to join the armed forces and thus encouraged me to join. Thank you so very much. – Machamma C B
  • The seminar was very interesting and encouraging. I as an individual learned so much about my own country and armed forces. They spoke about opportunities we get in army and also about few exams we can opt like PC, SCC through OTA, Chennai, IMA, we came to know about Air Force, Indian Coast Guard, Central armed Police forces, BSF, CRPF, CISF, BSF etc. They spoke about own experiences, which encouraged us to join the forces. – Iram.

Article on Women’s Web

https://www.womensweb.in/2018/09/meghna-girish-mother-of-brave-martyr-major-akshay-girish-sept18wk4sr/

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Meet Meghna Girish, brave mother of martyr Major Akshay Girish, who inspires us with the way she has coped with her grief and worked to keep his legacy alive.

‘Our flag does not fly because the wind moves it. It flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it’.

For a soldier, his country comes first, and when duty beckons, he rises to the occasion and proves his mettle, come what may. Major Akshay Girish was one such soldier, a hero, who made the supreme sacrifice while protecting our people during the Nagrota attack in November 2016.

Everyone has different ways of coping with grief. But, Meghna Girish, mother of Major Akshay Girish, chose not to let her grief overpower her. Grief-stricken she was, shattered she was, but she was not broken. She reveled in the valiant feat of her son and went on to savour his memories while constantly working towards reaching out to the families of other forgotten martyrs.

I have been following the journey of this extraordinary mother and she has never ceased to inspire me. So, it was my pleasure to connect to her and know how being a ‘martyr’s mom’ changed her and what kept her going.

The day that changed life for Meghana Girish

On that fateful day of November 29th, 2016, her son displayed indomitable courage and made the supreme sacrifice, and Meghna Girish came to be known as the mother of a martyr.

As agonising as it must be, she narrates the incident that changed her life forever, “On the fateful dawn, very heavily armed terrorists attacked a neighbouring Artillery unit in the dark, and killed four soldiers before entering two residential buildings in Nagrota. The terrorists had trapped 16 women, children, and unarmed men inside two residential buildings. Major Akshay was chosen to lead his Regiment’s (51 Engineers) Quick Response Team (QRT). After two hours of continuous fighting, he moved ahead alone to evacuate the families inside, and engaged the hidden terrorist leader in a fierce gunfight at close range. He was hit by multiple bullets, a grenade was directly launched at him, and Akshay made the supreme sacrifice. Two others were also martyred fighting. Three terrorists were killed in the operation, and all 16 hostages were saved un-harmed by the valour and sacrifice of our soldiers”.

Coping with the loss of a loved one

A mother can never come to terms with the loss of her child. But as time races ahead on its ‘winged chariot’, she can learn to live with her grief. Meghna did the same, but she knew she had to make sure that Akshay’s legacy continues.

Morever, she had to be an anchor and the pillar of strength for her daughter-in-law Sangeeta, and Akshay’s three year old daughter Naina who would question “why can’t papa come back from God’s house?”

She adds, “The thought that keeps me going is that if Akshay was destiny’s child and had to go, this is how he would have wanted to – in heroic glory. His life had purpose and he lived it very well”.

Finding new meaning through writing

After her son’s untimely demise, Meghna took to writing. She started a blog which was in a way “a journey to find new meaning after personal loss”.

She says, “More importantly, it connected our family to lakhs of readers, who have reached back to tell me how they take inspiration and courage from Akshay’s life, to lead their own with positivity and strength. He always was very close to me and is now my guiding light”.

Major Akshay Girish Memorial Trust

To continue Major Akshay’s legacy, the family – Meghna, her husband Girish, daughter-in-law Sangeeta, daughter Neha and Pradish – founded the Major Akshay Girish Memorial Trust which aims to promote nationalism and service to our motherland.

We have chosen the path of motivating and assisting youth, particularly students in schools, colleges, and universities, to strive for a career in the defence services and allied government services. The aim is to attract and promote young talent which has the spirit to do good for our country”.

In collaboration with institutions and committed individual volunteers organizes and facilitates the following:

  • Orientation Seminars and Training Workshops on honorable and satisfying careers in Defence and allied Services;
  • Education Scholarships, Coaching and Mentoring Programs and Volunteer opportunities
  • Achievement Awards

The DESH Family

Meghna is also an active member of the DESH family, which is a group that brings together families of martyrs. Elucidating further she says, “DESH was founded by Vikas Manhas from Jammu, Anasuya Mitra from Lucknow, and Adrija Sen from Bengaluru to support martyr families, and motivate Indians to respect and honour every soldier who sacrificed his all for the country. DESH also inspires youth to serve the nation.”

Is the country doing enough for martyrs like Major Akshay?

When asked if she feels disillusioned at times and if she feels the country is doing enough for its martyrs, Meghna quips, “In comparison to the past, there seems to be more love and respect for martyrs among common citizens, but very little has changed in the attitude of decision makers.

Many martyr families face difficulty to get even entitlements from their respective state governments.

Promises are made and broken, and even announcements in response to public sentiment like ‘we will name the road, make a statue to honour the martyr’ etc are only for publicity. This hurts”.

The proud mother: an epitome of strength

Though nothing can fill the void that her beloved son’s demise left, pride will always outshine sorrow.

Meghna Girish intends to work towards bringing about a change in society wherein a martyr is accorded visible respect. After all, “is their sacrifice only a family’s personal loss?” she questions.

It could have been easy to surrender. Yet she chose to be like her son. Like mother like son – brave, strong and undeterred. Her sense of gratitude, and the will to circumvent even the toughest of times makes her what she is. Major Akshay Girish would be so proud of his mom today.

I am awed by this mother’s strength, and I sincerely hope, we as a nation give our martyrs the love and respect they deserve. So, the next time you read about a martyr also think about the dreams that were quashed, the loved ones that they left behind, the kids that were orphaned- all for protecting our motherland.

Images credit: Meghna Girish

MAG Award – SKCHEC

Shriya Shankar – 95.4% in Class XII CBSE Board Exam.

  • Participated in Cluster Basketball Nationals in Agra (2013),  in Tirupati (2014), in Haryana (2015) , in Chattisgarh (2016) and in Noida (2017).
  • In Athletic in the 4 x 400m relay category, she was the Bronze medalist, the in 2016 Silver medallist in Bangalore Clusters.
  • She was the Vice Captain (2014), School Head Girl (2015) and School Prefect (2017).
  • Interned with Sahas NGO (2015).
  • Interned with Anweshadhii Learning Centre for mentally challenged and autistic children (2016).
  • Interned with Reap Benefit (2016).

Vibha Krishnaprasad Nadig – 97.4% in Class XII CBSE Board Exam.

  • She is the City Topper as well in the Humanities Stream.
  • Assistant Director, Harvard MUN 2017.
  • Amongst top 10 speakers at the National Law School Debate, 2018.
  • Featured by Airplane Poetry Movement on their website.
  • Three times Bronze medallist at CBSE Volleyball Clusters.
  • Designed a new curriculum and taught Government schools in Mysore through the NGO Pratham.
  • Conducted the Government school exchange programme.
  • Worked with Reap Benefit to create sustainable solutions.

 

The Inaugural Workshop

Inaugural Workshop for students on Career Opportunities in Defence Services.

 

 

Introduction

The inaugural workshop of the MAJOR AKSHAY GIRISH MEMORIAL TRUST was held on 8 July 2018 at the Seminar Hall of the St. Joseph’s Institute of Management. This full day workshop was to motivate and introduce students to career opportunities available for them in the Defence Services. The aim was also to familiarize them to the criteria and the process to make a career in this field.  This was a free workshop aimed at students from classes 10, 11 and 12 as well as those pursuing an undergraduate degree.

Agenda

  1. Introduction to Major Akshay Girish Memorial Trust (Wg. Cdr Girish Kumar)
  2. Interaction with Young Officers from Different Army, Navy and Air Force (Maj Pankaj Pathak, Lt Cdr. Akshay Raja, Sqn Ldr Abhinav Rao)
  3. The Military as a long-term Career Option: Career openings, eligibility, facilities, benefits, etc. (Gp. Capt. Ashwani Bhakoo VSM)
  4. Short Service Commission: Opportunities in Service and after completion of service (Girish Nair: Founder and CEO, Pace Global HR)
  5. Preparing for UPSC Entrance Examinations for Defence Services (Cavaliar Academy)
  6. SSB Interviews: The practical part of entrance test (Col Anshul Trivedi)
  7. India’s Real Heroes: Col DPK Pillay; Maj Sandeep Unnikrishnan; followed by Interaction with Col DPK Pillay (Vikas Manhas, Adrija Sen from DESH)
  8. Major Akshay Girish as friend and role model (Flt. Lt. Aditya Raj Gupta) followed by a short video
  9. Feedback & Next Steps (Sripradish Kapikad)
  10. Vote of Thanks (Meghna Girish)

Background

This workshop was organised by Akshay’s family and well-wishers, under the Major Akshay Girish Memorial Trust, in response to a need expressed by students who are motivated to join the Defence Services but lack information and clarity on the career opportunities that exist and how to prepare for it. The workshop was attended by 94 students studying in educational institutions mainly in Bengaluru and also few from other cities in Karnataka. Some of them were part of the National Cadet Corps.

The workshop started with a welcome by Akshay’s wife, Sangeetha, who was the MC for the event. This was followed by an introduction to the Major Akshay Girish Memorial Trust by his father, Wing Commander Girish Kumar. The Trust is inspired by Akshay’s life and patriotic legacy and will take forward his unfinished work of service to the nation.

The first session was a glimpse into the lives of the three services by young serving officers. Major Pankaj Pathak, Lieutenant Commander Akshay Raja and Sqn Ldr Abhinav Rao are all from the prestigious National Defence Academy (NDA) where young cadets are trained for three years to become Officers in the Defence Services. They underwent same initial training and then split up for training in their specialized fields. As Major Pathak put it “It’s the ‘josh’ with which one joins, which determines how far he/she can reach”. He is a part of the Paratroopers and has also had Special Forces training with the US Army. Lieutenant Commander Akshay Raja is in Navy Aviation and has flown the Boeing P8 and has done 3000 hrs of flying. Sqn Ldr Abhinav Rao had other career options but chose the Defence Services and is a fighter pilot. He quotes Paulo Coehlo from The Alchemist, “When you want something, the entire universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”, reiterating how important it is to be passionate about what one wants in life.

These three young offices are course mates of Major Akshay Girish, i.e., they spent three years in NDA together. Major Pathak went on to do the engineers course with Akshay. They shared stories about how deep and strong friendships are in the armed forces, and about how they’re all brothers in arms. They also explained how the Armed Forces gives the most satisfying life experience which goes well beyond any other career.

This was followed by a question-answer session with six panelists. The three officers who had spoken were joind by Major Puneet Dutta(Engineers), Major Ekta(ASC) and Major Karan Sharma(Infantry) . It ranged from queries regarding the maximum eye power allowed to clear the medical test, subjects needed for eligibility, the possibility of choosing a service of choice, to how is one’s family looked after if he/she is in the Armed Forces. The panelists cleared all these doubts thoroughly and also gave examples from their own lives to prove their point.

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The second session was on how the Military could be a long-term career option which was presented by Gp Captain Ashwani Bhakoo, who started by saying that military was not a career, but a lifestyle. He shared many inspiring videos on Army, Navy and Air Force and also on careers in CRPF, CISF, ITBP, NSG, BSF etc which come under the Home Ministry. He explained in detail the various career options in the Armed Forces, eligibility, salary, etc. He spoke of how the military takes care of you and your family.

MAGF-47The next session was conducted by Girish Nair, who is the founder and CEO of Pace Global HR. He spoke about his journey in the Short Service Commission and how it is very important to have a skill set, which is the beans, and values and beliefs to guide us, which are the genes. He correlated this to his life in the IT sector and beautifully explained how these beans and genes govern us wherever we go. He gave an idea of the opportunities even after serving in the military because the military trains you to be a leader in any field.

This was followed by a very touching session by Vikas Manhas and Adrija Sen. They are from DESH, an organisation that is working towards connecting different martyr families and offering them emotional support. Vikas, from Jammu and Kashmir, calls himself the ‘storyteller’. He began by sharing personal stories about Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, who was martyred in the November 2008 Mumbai attacks. Next, he spoke about the very humble, Col DPK Pillay, and the great gestures of his life. The highlight of this session was when Col DPK Pillay himself took the stage, and gave an emotional, heartwarming speech on Akshay, about how he saw himself in Akshay.

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Hero Capt DPK Pillay

Cavalier Academy Team took the next session to familiarise students on early entry in the Armed Forces through NDA, and also to brief the students regarding the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) exam. Students were given tips on how to solve the written examination which consists of Paper 1 which is a mathematics based paper and Paper 2 which comprises of General Knowledge, English, Polity and other miscellaneous questions.

Next, there was an interesting interactive session with Col Anshul Trivedi, on the Services Selection Board (SSB) Interviews. He then went on to split his life into different phases – Operational, Instructional and Present. He also narrated several anecdotes from his own life and stressed upon the fact that experiences in life take you much farther ahead than textbook knowledge. He gave an insightful explanation on the procedure and expectations of SSB Interviews and how one can go about to clear it.

Flt Lt Aditya Raj Gupta, Akshay’s close friend, shared some personal childhood stories of Akshay. He spoke about how Akshay always stood up for whatever he believed was right and this was backed up by the fire in his eyes, which never flickered. Akshay’s quote ‘Aim for the skies so that you will find yourself among the stars one day’ made a real impact on all. He also shared with us a short video on Akshay’s life. It also had short poems written by Akshay, which along with the video, left the whole room teary eyed.

Akshay’s brother in law, Sripradish Kapikad, then explained what the Trust plans on doing next and how one could help them through this journey. He informed us about the different verticals of their mission – website, blogs, Facebook, counseling, school representatives, volunteers etc.

Lastly, we had Akshay’s mother, Meghna Girish, giving the vote of thanks, without whom this event would not have happened.MAGF-103

It was interesting to see how interactive the students were even during tea breaks and lunch breaks. They were filled with enthusiasm and questions which only go to show that they will make the country proud one day. The takeaway from the workshop was the motivation to do something in the Defence Services, either directly or indirectly, and take pride in our nation’s heroes for the eternal sacrifices they make for us every day. The moto of the Trust, Be Inspired says it all.

 

Participants Feedback

There was a registration form which the students filled in before the workshop and a feedback form which they filled after. Some of the comments that show the passion of the students to do something for the nation and in turn for themselves are given below:

Pre-workshop information: What motivates you to join the Defense services?

  • Patriotic
  • Provides healthy activity-based lifestyle
  • Gain respect of society
  • Protect nation and family
  • Ensure peace and harmony
  • Family of freedom fighters and then in the military so motivated to join
  • The discipline, self-confidence and motivation taught
  • A National Level rider wants to join the 61 Cavalry
  • A respectful, adventurous and inspirational life brings out the patriot in oneself

One of the participants quoted “You can earn and you can buy anything, but not the Army uniform”

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Describe your approach towards preparing for the UPSC for a career

  • Got information on the subjects and areas that have to be prepared for the exam.
  • Knowledge of current affairs
  • Physical training
  • Mathematics
  • Keeping record of important current affairs
  • Mock tests
  • Working on sharpening analytical skill, critical thinking,
  • Focused preparation and determination
  • Structured plan for preparation and sticking to it.

Post-workshop feedback on what one learnt

  • Learnt that we can do anything if we have the right attitude, the determination and confidence in ourselves
  • Cleared my doubts about joining the Defence Services
  • Completely inspirational workshop. Now thinking of joining the Forces
  • Widened by knowledge about the Forces. Now can look into more opportunities in the Forces than I thought earlier
  • Amazing workshop, inspired by young commanders
  • Learnt so much today. Want to join the Army. Will work hard for that.
  • Inspirational workshop. Will spread the word around
  • Got a clear insight of the Defence Services as a career
  • Helped to know how to approach the examination. Thanks
  • Doubts cleared
  • A memorable and unforgetful day …ready to join the Army!
  • Will develop skills lacking in me.
  • Had no idea about the number of careers in the Services. New avenues for us.
  • Completely motivated. Will start preparing from now!

“Inspired by the acts of Major Akshay Girish. God Bless him and the family.

In Yash’s (a participant) words “What I liked the most was when Sir’s mom came to dais and gave vote of thanks – without shedding a tear! That shows how a brave soldier is always ready to sacrifice his own life for others. A big salute to Girish Sir and Meghna M’am”.

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(Report prepared by Shriya Shankar and Sarita Deshpande).