Fazilka: Kin of soldiers martyred during the Kargil war of 1999 were honoured by the JK Rifles Regiment at Fazilka on Friday. Among those felicitated on the occasion included Kamla Devi, mother of Sepoy Ashok Kumar, who sacrificed his life in Operation Vijay during the Kargil conflict 17 years ago. Sepoy was the only son of Kamla, who had come from Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh for the felicitation ceremony held to mark the Golden Jubilee of JK Rifles. Speaking on the occasion, she said: "The mere sight of a soldier reminds me of my son in olive green who died young fighting for the nation. This honour brought back memories of the day he died."
While recollecting her memories, Neena Singh, wife of Sepoy Sandhur Singh, said their elder daughter Dipika was just two years old, while the other daughter Yashika was just one month old when her husband sacrificed his life for the nation. "It was a very tough time, but at the same time, I feel proud to be the wife of a martyr. The government supported us at that critical time, and now both my daughters are pursuing higher studies," said Neena, who had come to attend the celebration with her two daughters.
Another Veer Naari (war widow), Lata Bhardwaj, wife of Sepoy Gian Chand from Bilaspur in HP, said though she lost her man, such honour ceremonies reminded her of the supreme sacrifice made by her husband. "My world had come crashing down the day we received the news of my husband's martyrdom. But I have decided to send my only son Vivek to the army. It has to be a family legacy, and my son will carry it forward," she added. Like Lata, there were many other war widows who expressed their desire to send their children to the army, as second generation soldiers. Anju Lata, widow of Sepoy Veer Singh from Kangra in Himachal, also expressed her wish to send her daughter Mansi to serve the Indian Army.