The flashing news of demise of our soldiers while serving the country conjures a million emotions in our hearts. We tend to showcase our confined anger by tweeting, texting and hashtagging. We somehow impel to drain them in the rainbow of our thoughts. Then, we very quickly go back to living our normal lives normally, yet not realizing the pain of the grieved families.
Jitendra Singh, a private security guard has a phenomenal story to tell. Employed in Gujarat, Surat, he has undertaken yet another duty to convey his heartfelt solace to the families of Bravehearts. He struggles to earn his daily bread within his monthly salary of Rs. 10,400. But that has never stopped him from purchasing postcards to write to the families of martyrs.
Since 1999 Kargil war, between India and Pakistan, this 37-year-old admirable soul has kept himself committed to writing letters to the martyr’s families. Jitendra’s family has left behind a legacy of serving in the Indian Army which left him with a burning desire to join the Indian Army.
“I started writing letters to families of martyrs after 1999 Kargil war and till date have written over 4000 letters to martyrs’ families. I have information and addresses of nearly 3800 army personnel’s families. My objective is to offer my gratitude to the service their sons, husbands and fathers did to the people of India like me,” says an emotional Jitendra Singh.
He has been writing for the past 18 years and has accumulated a stationary weighing 9 quintals.
“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.
He recalls his struggles of financial crunch,
“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.”
Jitendra is determined to write much more letters and tells that at present he has information about 3800 martyr families. Also he aims to get information about as many as possible.
“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,” Jitendra says.
He says it with a heavy heart that the families do not write him back often and he sympathises with their agony.
Jitendra lives in Surat with his son. He has proudly named his son after Hardeep Singh, a martyr from Karnal in Haryana who sacrificed his life in 2003 fighting terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir.
While we may see Jitendra Singh as a regular security guard, he has shown that he has a heart of gold. A heart that can feel the pain of others and wants to diminish the sorrow by exhibiting that he cares and them in his thoughts.