A single news of martyrdom holds the capacity to wrench our heart. People showcase their condolences through Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites, while our politicians show some so-called anger by doing ‘Kadi Ninja’. And within 24 hours, we go back to resuming our normal life without even realizing the pain of the grieving family.
While actor Akshay Kumar has come forward to support the families of martyrs financially by launching a website ‘bharatkeveer.gov.in’ where people can donate any amount to them; there is a person who has been supporting the families on an emotional level since 18 years.
This is the phenomenal story of Jitendra Singh who works as a private security guard in Surat, Gujrat. While his job fetches him money to earn bread, there’s another duty he has undertaken that gives him satisfaction. He has written over 4,000 letters to the families of martyrs in last 18 years.
His job fetches him just Rs 10,400 per month, but this has never stopped him from buying postcards to write letters.
A dream of serving the nation:
Since 1999 Kargil War of India and Pakistan, Jitendra has been writing letters to families of martyrs. He had a desperate urge to continue his family’s legacy of serving in The Indian Army. But he failed to achieve that dream. He says,
“My family members have been serving in Indian army since second world war and I too wanted to join army, but failed. My father was in Mahar regiment and when Kargil war was on, he would mention that the martyred soldier was from my company. From there onwards, I decided to write letters to families to the martyrs.”
Holds stationary weighing 9 quintals:
He has been writing for last 18 years and has accumulated stationary weighing 9 quintals. He says,
“Till date, I have written over 4000 letters and have information about families of 3800 martyrs to whom I am going to write. I have collected stationary weighing 9 quintals including the information, papers from the respective defence establishments and postcards to write on,” says an eager Jitendra.
His financial struggle doesn’t stop him from writing letters.
“When I started, one postcard would cost me around Rs 15 paise and in last 18 years or so, the cost of one postcard has reached Rs 50 paise. I buy postcards every month.”
The 37-year-old Jitendra said,
“I have tried to contact army headquarters in New Delhi, in pursuit to get addresses of the families of the martyrs. But they say they can’t provide addresses like this. Therefore, I have been making use of newspapers and other sources of media to collect information and addresses of the families. I just want to tell their families that there is one man in Gujarat who thinks of their well-being.”
He told that most of the families don’t write back to him, but that doesn’t demotivate him. He completely understands their pain and agony.
Jitendra lives in Surat with his son. He has proudly named him ‘Hardeep Singh.’ Hardeep Singh attained martyrdom in 2003 fighting terrorists in Jammu & Kashmir.
While people might see him as an ordinary security guard, but his golden heart makes him stand apart from the rest of the crowd. He has been doing the exact same thing which we don’t even realize. We fail to understand the loss of the families who have sacrificed their son/husband/father to the nation.
We salute Mr. Jitendra for his selfless effort.