North America's first "Living Guard of Honour & Memorial" for Indian Army Corps Soldiers of WW1

By SiliconIndia   |   Thursday, 31 May 2018, 06:25 Hrs
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ww1One hundred and eight trees took root along a part of the Veterans Memorial Parkway in London this weekend as part of Phase 1 of this project. They were planted by a local organization to serve as a living memorial for more than 1.3 million Indian soldiers who fought in the First World War, from all over undivided India & Nepal. The memorial is the first of its kind in North America. Srishti Foundation, in Canada, a not-for-profit organization that focuses on Indian Culture, Community Service and Celebrations with a focus on its youth, raised $26,575 from donors and the City of London contributed another $10,000. Another not-for-profit organization Trees for 3 Dots helped in the implantation and planting.

The 108 Trees – both Deciduous and Conifers were planted by over 120 volunteers. Donors, Canadian Army soldiers. The Tree Planting event was kicked off by Mr Davinder Pal Singh, Consul for Press, Information & Community welfare from Consulate General of India Toronto. Mayor of London, Matt Brown and City Councillor Tanya Park also participated in the event along with representatives of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Vinod Varapravan is an organizer with Srishti Foundation and did much of the research into India’s efforts in the First World War. At the time, India was part of the British Commonwealth and joined the war in September, 1914. Indian soldiers fought in Europe, Africa and China and nearly 75,000 Indian troops were killed. The number of trees planted – 108 – is important in the Hinduism and Yoga. It is significant in astronomy, Yoga, and practice of many aspects of Indian culture and religion. Srishti Foundation is excited to embark on the next phase of the project which is the construction and installation of a monument at the tree planting site. The monument will be in the form of a “Chhatri”. Varapravan said “Chhatris” are typically seen at forts in India to commemorate soldiers. Walking trails, benches and plaques are also an important part of the next phase. The project is an ambitious but important project that inspires North America born Indian Youth. The organization hopes this memorial will instill a sense of pride amongst Indo-Canadian/American Youths and also give people a chance to honor Indian soldiers, their sacrifice, and valor.

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