Union women and child development minister Smriti Irani paid a heartfelt tribute to soldiers and their families while acknowledging that the sacrifices made by them are rarely acknowledged. She was speaking at a literature festival organised by the Army Wives Welfare Association on Friday.
“Today as a civilian, I am here to say sorry that we do not look at you till such time when a challenge comes upon the country. You not only have my apology but my gratitude on behalf of every Indian,” the minister said.
She was paying homage to chief of defence staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika and 12 others, who were killed in a helicopter crash.
“We see you only when you step up to take the posthumous honour… We salute you and shower you with petals when a man in uniform comes back home in a box… We, as civilians, presume it’s a given that you’ve chosen to serve the armed forces… For that, you have my apology,” she added.