A Souvenir Sheet consisting of 1 no. of postage stamp on the Indian Army‘s participation in United Nation Peace Keeping Force spans a period of 55 years from 1950 onwards, covering 38 Missions with 70,000 troops deployed, 109 soldiers laid down their lives to preserve peace for mankind :
Issued by India
Issued on Oct 24, 2004
Issued for : Department of Posts is proud to issue a commemorative postage stamp on “Indian Army in UN Peacekeeping Operations”.
Stamp & FDC : Kamleshwar Singh
Cancellation : Alka Sharma
Type : Miniature Sheet, Mint Condition
Colour : Multicolour
Denomination : 500 Paise
Print Quantity :
Stamps : 0.8 Million
Miniature Sheet : 0.1 Million
Printing Process : Photogravure
Printer : India Security Press, Nashik
- Indian participation in the United Nations Peacekeeping is as old as the history of the UN Peacekeeping itself and goes back over five decades. So far, the Indian Army has participated in 36 Peacekeeping Missions with more than 70,000 troops. India is amongst the largest contributors to the UN Peacekeeping Operations.
- The most difficult areas across the world and the range of sensitive Peacekeeping Operations India has participated in, are the testimony to India‘s commitment to the UN Charter and its objectives. Known for their equanimity and forbearance, Indian troops have proved popular everywhere. The first deployment came early enough, when India sent troops to Korea as a part of the Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission in 1953-54. This was a delicate task, involving the repatriation of Prisoners of War. This was followed by a stint at Gaza to keep Israeli and Egyptian forces apart.
- The largest (and longest serving) contingent was sent to Congo in 1961. A complete Independent Brigade Group helped bring about peace and its enforcement thereafter, which involved light to heavy engagements with mercenaries. One most cherished compliment came from an adversary. The mercenaries themselves conceded, in later writings, that the Indian contingent’s activity curbed their style. Capt. GS Salaria was awarded posthumously, the country’s highest gallantry award, the Param Vir Chakra, for his brave action at Katanga.
- After Korea (1950-52) and Congo (1960-63), India again sent a Brigade Group to Somalia and displayed its resolve to support international community in peace and security issues. India has deployed Battalion Groups, engineers, medical teams in Cambodia, Angola, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Lebanon and Ethiopia. Observers and staff personnel have made their contributions to the international peace efforts in Central America, Iran, Yemen, Iraq, Kuwait, Liberia, Lebanon, Ethiopia–Eritrea, Mozambique, Burundi, Ivory Coast and Congo.
- India has also provided able leaders for various missions, to name a few, General Thimayya in Korea & Cyprus, Lt Gen. Dewan Prem Chand in Cyprus & Namibia, Lt. Gen. Satish Nambiar in Yugoslavia, Maj Gen PS Gyani in Yemen, Sinai & Cyprus, Maj Gen V Jaitley in Sierra Leone and Maj Gen LM Tiwari in Lebanon apart from many a Contingent Commander. Currently, Maj Gen Rajender Singh, SM, VSM has the honour of commanding the Peacekeeping Force in Ethiopia-Eritrea.
- Present contribution of the Indian Army is 2357, inclusive of all ranks. In addition to Military Observers and Staff Officers, the Indian Army is participating with troops in South Lebanon (UNIFIL) and Ethiopia-Eritrea (UNMEE). The Indian Army is also in the process of deploying one Infantry Brigade Group in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
- Text : Based on material given by the proponent.