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  • Writer's pictureReshma Jain

‘Har Kaam Desh ke Naam’- On a mission to spread Patriotism

"Independence is not free, it costs soldiers", read a caption on a Maruti 800 (trolley fixed as a tow to keep the Martyr’s soil) attached to a car parked near a Cafe. The Hyundai Accent car with stickers and captions on patriotism looked like an army vehicle while many people were seen clicking pictures and selfies.

And then when I met him in person, I was left spellbound. Umesh Gopinath Jadhav, the man who traveled thousands of kilometers to collect soil from the Pulwama attack Martyr's home has been recognized across the country for his work. Hailing from Sambhajinagar (Aurangabad) Maharashtra, Umesh Gopinath Jadhav is settled in Bangalore since 2004.

As a responsible Indian citizen, Jadhav said that he initiated and embarked on the ‘India's first Patriotic Road trip to meet India’s Martyrs /Fallen Heroes across 28 states 8 union territories. The ride was flagged off by CRPF DIG Sh. Sanand Kamal on April 9, 2019 from GC CRPF Bangalore.

Jadhav said, “The Mission of this ride was: ‘Janmabhoomi Karmabhoomi’ (Respecting soils of India/ Bharat ke Mitti ka Samman) & ‘Indian First’ (Bhartiya Pratham). My mission which is supported by the common citizens explains the gravity and enormous sacrifices, pain, and burden our forces take to keep 130 crore Indian citizens to be safe and sound. Realizing the ground reality of what the martyr’s family goes through, I have always believed that a soldier dies only when we start forgetting about them.”

It's definitely a selfless service to meet the ‘Veer Pariwar (Martyr’s family)’ and pay homage and salutations for their ultimatum sacrifices. Jadhav has collected soil from the martyr’s homes to make an ‘India Map’ as a symbol of a tribute to the martyrs and to spread the message of ‘Unity in Diversity’.

Jadhav has traveled over 1.20 lakh kilometers in 3 years and 2 months across 28 states and 8 Union territories.

He has met families of 150 Indian Armed forces martyrs. This includes the families of 40 Pulwama Martyrs, Cobra commandos, War heroes of 1947,1965,1971, Ops Rakshak, Siachen warriors to name a few. Jadhav has also collected soil from the Cellular Jail, Flag point from Port Blair, Andaman Nicobar Islands. Jadhav shared that he has received soil from the families of martyrs of World War 1 (Mysore Lancers), Haifa war in Israel, UN peace Mission and from the memorials of Field Marshal Cariappa sir, Field Marshal Manikshaw, Maj Sandeep Unnikrishnan (26/11) among the others.

Reminiscing one of the best memories of his life, Jadhav said, “I was the only guest invited on the first anniversary of the Pulwama attack (14/2/2020) at the Pulwama Martyrs Memorial, Lethpora, J&K. The martyr’s soil was handed over in an Urn (Kalash) to CRPF SDG Sh. Zulfiqar Hasan, IPS which is now an integral part of the memorial.”

Army has only one Religion and that is ‘Nation First’. “When we see our soldiers /veterans, I request people to show them respect at public places, trains, flights by saying at least ‘Jai Hind’ or thanking them for their sacrifices,” concluded the patriot.

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