Indian soldiers to get a rare tribute in Israel

Haifa (Israel): In a tribute to Indian soldiers, the municipality of Haifa has decided to include the stories of their valiant efforts in liberating the city during the First World War by incorporating them in Israeli school curricula as part of the history textbooks.

"The residents of Haifa have learnt to appreciate the contribution of the Indian soldiers and as a mark of recognition, the stories of their brave deeds will be taught at schools here to preserve the city`s history and heritage," acting Mayor of Haifa, Hedva Almog, said addressing a gathering assembled to pay respects to the fallen Indian soldiers.

A large number of Indian soldiers sacrificed their lives in this region during the First World War and nearly 900 are cremated or buried in cemeteries across Israel.

India`s Ambassador to Israel Navtej Sarna released a book, Memorials of Indian soldiers in Israel, on the occasion as part of an initiative that will spread more awareness and greater recognition for the supreme sacrifice made by these soldiers.

"It was no ordinary battle because the Indian soldiers, hailing from various parts of the country and belonging to different faiths, fought bravely for the British here while back home Indians were fighting against them for Independence," Sarna said.

The commemoration is "a part of a mosaic of this very wide ranging Indo-Israel ties," the Indian envoy said.

He also thanked the role of the Haifa Historical Society which has done an extensive research on the role of the Indian army in the region. .