In the past, in our own limited and tiny ways, we have assisted some less privileged people with their livelihoods, education, assisted some children with cerebral palsy who needed wheelchairs to reach their goals with better mobility, computers education for the visually impaired … Thanks to our donors.
We had never thought that we should, or can, reach out to some families of martyred Indian army jawaans (soldiers).
My self motivated and self-financed friend, Vikas Manhas, who keeps in touch with many families of Indian Army martyrs, had mentioned to me – …” some such families sometimes need ‘help, and most often they do not have access to NGOs” (or someone like us who are not a ‘NGO’ yet can aid them in our own tiny ways).
They are often assisted by wives of past martyrs or wives of officers currently serving in the Army. These are self motivated help-groups within the army neighborhoods who reach out to martyrs families in their own regions when they learn of a soldier’s martyrdom. One such volunteer is an ex Major herself, living in Pune, Sheetal.
Vikas and Sheetal put us in touch with two such families, one in Pune and the other in Nanded, and we learnt that we can assist them, in our own limited ways, by contributing to their children’s school education, and we did.
Because, it was not just enough for us that ‘the government’ and army will or should look after our martyred soldiers families needs. If we too can contribute, particularly for their education or medical needs, it sends out a message to them and others that ‘yes, we, the nation, too care…’
The Pune family, her daughters are twins, and the Nanded family has a daughter too. Three bright girls without their papa, but a mumma who carries the torch of the family and is marching ahead by finding employment to support her family. One has yet to find employment, she has applied for a job in the Army canteen and is awaiting confirmation.
The Pune widow told me that though she paid the school fees for her twins amounting to Rs 35000, the school later returned her money. Super! (Earlier to this, when I had asked her, if we can pay the fees for her twins she had told me “i have already paid their school fees from my savings, you please help someone else who cannot afford to pay the fees” Such a generous and dignified woman!, a truly ‘rich’ person, I thought of her.)
Thank you Mukul Madhav Foundation, Pune, Raminder Kaushal and myself, for contributing to the school fees and stationery needs of three children belonging to two martyred soldiers families.
The accompanying photograph of children is from the school of one of the martyred soldier’s village, the students paid homage to their ex student when the news arrived that he was killed in an anti terror operation in Kashmir;
I chose to post this, so that next time we read about the death of a soldier, some of us may bow our head down with a few seconds of silence for the departed soul/s.