For a country with the world’s third largest army – the Indian Armed Forces have always been looked up to for their courage, valour and unconditional love for their motherland. Capturing the very essence of sacrifice by the Armed Forces personnel and saluting these real heroes of India, well-known author and philanthropist Manju Lodha comes up with yet another gem – PARAMVIR
Launching at the cultural hub of the Indian Diaspora in the UK – The Nehru Centre, Mrs Manju Lodha unveiled her new book Paramvir to an enthusiastic audience. Mrs Lodha presented signed copies of the book to the honorary chief guests including the High Commissioner of India to the UK, HE Mr Navtej Sarna, Mr Virendra Sharma MP, Mr Lalubhai Parekh – Overseas Friends of BJP and Warrant Officer Ashok Chauhan, MBE – British Army.
A book celebrating the lives of 21 Param Vir Chakra winners written by a well-known Indian social activist was launched here by Indian High Commissioner to the UK, Navtej Sarna.
Param Vir: A War Diary by Manju Lodha captures 21 instances of bravery recounted by the friends and families of Param Vir Chakra awardees, the highest military honour bestowed by India to those serving in the Indian armed forces.
“Soldiers are the real heroes. If not for them, we would not be leading a peaceful life. I have the highest gratitude for them,” said Lodha at a special launch event at Nehru Centre here.
“Writing about all these unsung heroes, even if I have not been able to meet with many of them, has been a most fulfilling experience. It is almost as if I have lived and experienced their lives, and everyone reading this book would know about their valour and bravery. I salute them,” she added.
The evening also showcased her poetry skills as she recited some of her famous works. She enthralled the audience with a beautiful poetry, which has been acclaimed in India.
In PARAMVIR Mrs Lodha beautifully captures the heroic deeds of the brave Indian soldiers who at the time of war, went beyond the call of duty and showed exemplary display of courage and determination. Through her simple yet powerful storytelling Mrs Lodha brings to life 21 riveting stories of some of India’s bravest soldiers.
Drawing out minute details from records, family members and comrades-in-arms she has created the most vivid character-portraits of the men in uniform in a crisp and engaging manner. For literature and history enthusiasts, her book Paramvir – not only talks about the Paramvir Chakra but the journeys of those who have been awarded the Ashok Chakra, Vir Chakra and Mahavir Chakra as well – right from 1947 to the Kargil War. Pertinent to that the Ashok Chakra is also awarded to civilians for their bravery.
Each story has a personal touch as she has spent a lot of time with the families and colleagues of the soldiers to understand their journeys and what made them the extraordinary men that they were.
Coming from a military family background herself Mrs Lodha said: “PARAMVIR is very close to my Heart. My new book, takes you into the hearts and minds of those who die so that we may live. The book is particularly a must read for the new generation of the Indian Diaspora in the UK who don’t know much about the struggles of the Indian Army. The aim of the book is to bring to life their stories, so we remember them and their sacrifice doesn’t seem like it’s gone in vain.”
Her riveting storytelling brought out the true essence of what the Paramvir Chakra – the highest military award for extraordinary courage stands for.
The book has been released in English and promises to be a captivating tale of valour and prestige tugging at your patriotic nerve.
For over a decade, Mrs Manju Lodha has been actively involved in literary pursuits, social causes and women’s empowerment. Thanks to her endearing style of working sincerely towards social causes yet maintaining a low profile, she has become a credible spokesperson for the multiple causes that she supports.
Mrs Lodha is an Excellent Orator and Founder of Gyan Gangotri Kavya Manch, which is the only women’s literary organisation for development of literary skill for housewives in Mumbai. She is running three libraries, including the world’s biggest religious library with over 600,000 religious books and one mobile library.
As a writer she has written 11 books. Her latest book is PARAMVIR, based on the bravery stories of great Indian soldiers. Her other books include – Bharat Bhagya Nirmata, Babul, Paati, Maa, Yaden, Rishton Ka Recharge, Marudhar Vibhushan, Jain Dharm – Ek Pavan Path, Man ki Lahren and Prerna.
Mrs Manju Lodha actively works with leading social organisations like the Van Bandhu Parishad (working for the upliftment of tribal’s), the Rajasthani Mahila Mandal (working for the upliftment of women), Lions Club and the Inner Wheel Club. Interestingly, she was also the first woman President of the Lions Club of Walkeshwar.
She has been the leading light in setting up the Lodha Foundation which runs charitable schools in far suburbs of Mumbai imparting subsidised education to more than 5500 students, from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, conducts vocational training in a variety of fields to create long-term employment for youth and pilgrimage services for elderly citizens.