CSF: Honour Darryl Castelino with Ashoka Chakra… Others with Kirti Chakra

July 2, 2013 by  
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Ashok & Kirti Chakra Award

Ashok & Kirti Chakra Award

The CSF – India’s activist NGO – has in a communication to the country’s defence minister, Mr. A K Anthony called for posthumous military and civilian honours to be conferred on those who died in the Uttarakhand rescue mission. Speaking after the funeral of Wing Commander, Darryl Castelino, who piloted the ill-fated Russian-made Mi-17 helicopter that crashed due to incessant weather, The CSF general secretary, Joseph Dias urged the union government to consider the Ashoka Chakra award for him. The CSF has also called upon the defence minister to consider the others involved in the rescue mission for awards like the Kirti Chakra and other such honours.

According to Joseph Dias, ” Wing Commander Darryl Castelino had displayed rare and distinguished service, calling for such a recognition. The Ashok Chakra is awarded for valor, courageous action or self-sacrifice away from the battlefield. It is the peace time equivalent of the Param Vir Chakra, and is awarded for the “most conspicuous bravery or some daring or pre-eminent valour or self-sacrifice” other than in the face of the enemy. Wing Commander Darryl Castelino is eminently eligible for it “.

The CSF will follow-up with the defence minister and Indian Air Force authorities to secure the gallantry recognition for Darryl Castelino and others who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty. It will serve as an inspiration not just for the armed forces, but also civilians. Joseph pointed out that five of those killed were from the Indian Air Force; nine from the National Disaster Relief Force and six men from the Indo-Tibetan Border Police.

Please find below the email id of Mr. AK Anthony with a request to as many join for the above:

ak.antony@sansad.nic.in, csfpost@gmail.com Fax: 011 – 23012286 / 23019030 / 23015403 Tel: 23019474

Thousands bid farewell to IAF pilot

Daryl Castellino FuneralMumbai, June 30, 2013: Ethan and Angelina had danced away the evening when their parents, Wing Commander Darryl Castelino and wife Jyothi, threw a party on their tenth wedding anniversary just over a month ago.

This afternoon, in his black suit and white shirt, eight-year-old Ethan seemed to have grown up overnight as he led the pallbearers carrying his father’s Tricolour-draped black coffin to the local church in Vakola.

Castelino, 38, one of the 20 personnel killed when the rescue helicopter he was commanding crashed in Uttarakhand on Tuesday, was buried with full military honours.

Not many outside the Diamond Park Housing Society knew him, but thousands climbed onto their balconies, kitchenDaryl Castellino Funeral windows and terraces to catch their last glimpse of a man who had died trying to save stranded pilgrims.

Thousands others joined the cortege that wound its way down the 500 yards to St Anthony’s Church, and then to the Our Lady of Egypt Church and cemetery in Kalina 3km away.

St Anthony’s, where a mass was held for Castelino, was so jam-packed that church authorities requested people to step out. Many stood on the church grounds, braving the rain. As a pale but remarkably composed Jyothi rose to speak, a hush descended.

Daryl Castellino Family“It was a dream come true for me when we married 10 years ago. He made me feel like a queen and treated my children, Ethan and Angelina, like a prince and a princess. Now that I have lost him, I shall cherish every moment of my 10-year married life for the rest of my life till the time we meet again,” she said.

On their May 24 anniversary, Jyothi had given a locket depicting Mother Mary to Darryl, her brother Libert Olivera said. Darryl didn’t like wearing rings or chains but Jyothi insisted. The locket helped identify the body.

Among the hundreds in the church was Vakola resident Catherine D’Mello, 80, who needed a stick and her daughter’s support to walk.

“No, I didn’t know Darryl Castelino personally. But if he could give his life to save the lives of others, can’t we civilians even turn up for his funeral?” she said.

Daryl Castellino FamilyThe burial was attended by chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, Air Vice-Marshal Anil Khosla, and Castelino’s commanding officer at the 157 Helicopter Unit in Barrackpore, Apoorv Verma.

“Darryl has made us proud and remained true to the oath we take — that we will continue to do our national duty even if we lose our lives,” said Khosla, air officer commanding of the Mumbai air force headquarters.

Officers handed Castelino’s air force cap to his wife and carried the coffin to the grave in a shower of petals. Ten personnel fired three rounds each in a gun salute and the trumpeters played a mournful tune.

Commander Darryl Castelino's SonVerma, Castelino’s boss at Barrackpore, recalled their last meeting: “It was still dawn when he left. He was eager to participate in the rescue operations. He said, ‘Don’t worry Sir; we’ll be careful’.”

He said Castelino was the founding member of the 157 Helicopter Unit. “The Mi-17 V5 helicopter unit — or Tarkashya as we call it — was founded with seven officers and Darryl was one of them. We wear seven stars — the Saptarishi emblem — on our crest and he was one of the seven stars,” Verma said.

He added: “Darryl had a booming voice full of life and played a lot of pranks. If there was a dance (event), he would choreograph it. If it was an Air Force Day, he would be planning everything.”


– telegraph

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