Minus 45 degrees Celsius is not a joke.
Even when you are equipped with the best snow gear and clothes in the world. The human body simply refuses to work normally in these conditions where your body literally screams for oxygen.
But even if human bodies refuse to work normally in these harsh conditions, our soldiers with their human bodies do not. They toil on, day after day, guarding the highest battlefield with the will to protect it from the enemy.
It is more than just a hard task. You have to really think about the hardships they face every day to realize the sacrifices they make every day, even if they do not lose their lives.
1. There is no telling when the next resupply helicopter might come
Because the weather is very unpredictable and the pilots risk their lives even in the clearest of days by going to such a high altitude.
2. On bad days, there is zero visibility.
And zero means zero. You cannot even see the hand held up right in front of your eyes. This is the reason soldiers tie each other with ropes so that no one loses sight of the comrade in such blizzards.
3. And it lasts for months – literally for more than 30 consecutive days
And when it lasts for an extended period of time, resupply becomes impossible and the soldiers have to make their present supplies last until the storm clears – which could be days or weeks, who knows.
4. There are no beds for the soldiers to sleep on
Beds take up a lot of space. So the soldiers just store the supplies and use them as beds.
5. It takes 3 hours to heat up a bucket of water for a wash
They cannot have proper baths because the water will simply not remain warm long enough. They give themselves a good wash, that’s all.
And we complain if our geyser doesn’t work for one day.
6. You have to poop out in the open, and there is no saying if you might return or not
The Army has started providing soldiers with bio-toilets now, but not all bases have them. Soldiers walk in deep snow and defecate in the open.
Their biggest danger is a crevasse that is hidden under a thin layer of snow which can bury them almost instantly.
7. Isolation can drive people mad, and hence, they keep busy
The psychological effects are as bad as physical effects. On bad days, they have nothing but themselves to spend their time with. Books and makeshift games and the monotony of maintaining operational logs keeps them sane and busy.
8. Soldiers get to call home once a week for just two minutes
They are allowed one call a week for just two minutes via a satellite phone.
There have been cases where some soldiers give up their quota of two minutes to another soldier, just because he misses his loved ones more.
9. Memory loss, speech blurring, frost bites, lung infections
Just a normal day at the office for our brave soldiers.
10. 869 soldiers and officers have died as for 2015
Bullets are the last thing soldiers have to fear here.
11. Leading killer of them? Blood clots.
One-third of all the causes of deaths was because of blood clots.
The chances of a human body to develop blood clots is 100 times higher in Siachen than on sea level.
12. Each soldier carries 30 kilos of load at all times
This includes patrolling long distances every day.
13. Your sweat literally freezes and crackles between your skin and clothes
Because it is so cold, nothing stays liquid, even under 7 layers of protective clothing.
14. It takes soldiers 2-3 hours to relieve themselves and they take laxatives too
Even normal and healthy persons have it difficult to get regular bowel movements.
Each session that should normally last 10-15 minutes lasts for 3-4 hours, after taking a lot of laxatives.
15. You can get a sunburn and a frostbite at the same times
The cold is harsh, and so is the sun. If soldiers stand outside in the sun for long, they get frostbites and sunburns at the same time.
Humans should break in these conditions, but somehow our valiant soldiers soldier on.
Because they have somehow trained their bodies that they have become superhumans?