On Thursday, the trust managing the memorial will be remembering the martyrs to observe Vijay Diwas in which apart from Army officials and the DC, college students will also be participating in large numbers. The trust is organising a marathon to spread awareness about the environment in which bicycles will be gifted to students. Patriotic dramas will also be staged by college students.
Gradually a trust — Shaheedon Ki Samadhi Committee was formed. It purchased more land and a beautiful memorial built by the residents themselves was unveiled by then Chief Minister Giani Zail Singh in September 1972.
Sandeep Galhotra, president of this trust, told The Indian Express, "From 1 Kanal, the space is today 5.5 acre where we have set up a war museum as well in which pictures of all the 226 martyrs have been displayed.
The Army authorities helped us to get these pics and we are maintaining this memorial on our own at an annual expenditure of around Rs 1 lakh. But one high school, primary school and dispensary built in the same premises are being maintained by government. From time to time, we have received a few lakh rupees from the government but initially, for raising the memorial and even to purchase the land, the residents themselves took the initiative."
Galhotra agreed that many politicians had announced funds but only a few kept their promise. Still, they are continuing their public initiative and maintaining the memorial from their own funds. Of 226 martyrs, 82 were from the 4 Jat Regiment while the others were from the 3 Assam Rifles and 15 Rajput regiments. The trust organises programmes annually.
Mohan Lal Pruthi, general secretary of the trust, said, "We are spreading awareness among the youth as well about the sacrifices of our martyrs." He added, "Unlike many government-maintained memorials which are in dilapidated condition, we have maintained it in the best way."