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Posted at: May 31, 2018, 1:51 AM; last updated: May 31, 2018, 1:51 AM (IST)

I see it as my 85th birthday gift, says father

I see it as my 85th birthday gift, says father
Sainik Welfare ex-Deputy Director Lt Col Manmohan Singh (retd) with his adopted son Lt Gen Ranbir Singh.

Deepkamal Kaur

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 30

Lt Col Manmohan Singh (retd), former Deputy Director of Sainik Welfare, is a proud father, for his legally adopted son Lt Gen Ranbir Singh has been chosen to head the most important command of the Indian Army — the Northern Command.

“The news was like my 85th birthday gift from Babbu (Lt Gen Ranbir Singh’s nickname),” said an elated ex-serviceman, who lives in Urban Estate here.

Lt Col Manmohan Singh adopted Ranbir from his elder brother, a Junior Commissioned Officer, when he was just over three years old.

Hailing from Ambala Jattan village, near Garhdiwal, in Hoshiarpur, Lt Col Manmohan Singh brought a young Ranbir to Jalandhar and admitted him to St Joseph’s Convent School, Lajpat Nagar, where he studied till Class 5. He then moved to Sainik School, Kapurthala.

“Those days, students could take the NDA entrance test after Class 10. I had put him through hard training from the beginning. He got commissioned in December 1980. After General Sundarji, he is the only General from infantry to have headed an armoured division,” he recalled.

“Everyone knows about Ranbir’s role as Director General Military Operations when our special forces carried out surgical strikes across the Line of Control. Besides, he got three foreign assignments,” said Lt Col Manmohan Singh, who has trained hundreds of young boys and girls from the region to enter forces.

“I am a teetotaller and so is Ranbir. I am glad he followed the advice I gave when he joined NDA. At 85, I follow the same regime. I walk 5 km and practise yoga,” said Lt Col Manmohan Singh, who served on the post at Re 1 salary for years. “As a young Captain, Ranbir was posted in Mumbai and married a Marathi girl. They have a son, who has completed a computer engineering course,” he added.

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