"Probably, it is my men on the ground who have actually seen how effective and how important the role of the youth was. Every second or third boat of mine went to the local volunteers. If it was not for these local youths, who had guided us to reach the places, I cannot say how we would have been able to accomplish the mission," General Officer Commanding of the Srinagar-based 15 Corps Lt Gen Subrata Saha told reporters here.
"As far as the Army is concerned, it salutes the efforts put in by the youth, (both) with us and also by themselves. We are deeply conscious because we have seen it with our own eyes.
"My own officers and men have conveyed this to me at various forums at all places and they all had lots of tales to tell of the great, great efforts of the youth," he said. Lt Gen Saha said the people of the Valley deserve all the respect and admiration for what they did during the floods.
"On so many occasions, when boats reached (submerged) houses, the inhabitants of particular house said 'no, not me, please go to the neighbour's house, they need it more than I do. The people, the youth, they all have my respect and admiration for what they have done," he said.
The Commander, while commenting on a controversy surrounding the portrayal of Army in a recent movie, said art must have its own place.
"Honestly, I do not have time to watch movies. As a matter of principle, art is an expression and it must have its own place," he said.