Lucknow, Feb 16 (IANS): The central command of the Indian Army Saturday announced a 5,000-km torch relay, beginning March 2. The two-month-long run, 'Surya Kiran' would span Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Orissa, an army spokesman said.
Starting from Bareilly, the relay would cover 27 cities and six state capitals. It is aimed at informing the public of the fifty glorious years of its service to the nation, and to "rekindle the spirit of patriotism, unity and strength by reaching out to our veterans and motivating the youth", a spokesman said.
The torch would pass through Bareilly, Pithoragarh, Ranikhet, Joshimath, Landsdowne, Raiwala, Dehradun, Roorkee, Meerut, Agra, Mainpuri, Fatehgarh, Banda, Satna, Jabalpur, Raipur, Sambalpur, Cuttack, Bhubaneshwar, Ranchi, Danapur, Gazipur, Varanasi, Allahabad, Faizabad and Kanpur, and finally arrive in Lucknow May 1.
The torch will be flagged in and off at different locations by civil and military dignitaries, veterans, NCC cadets, youth and school children. Army melas, light and sound shows, medical camps, band displays, cultural programmes, adventure activities and Veteran's Grievance Cells will all be held around the relay.
A number of on-the-spot redressal booths will be established to offer instant solutions to the grievances of veterans. The booths will have pension assistance cells, directorates of resettlement cells, representatives from army welfare housing organisation, army placement agency, sainik boards and rehabilitation directorate.
To cater to the young, the army, navy and air force will put up information kiosks to provide information on recruitment.