Pulwama terror attack: Soil from homes of all 40 slain at Pulwama, in 1 urn | India News
His journey is a compelling story. After a music concert in Ajmer, he was returning home to Bengaluru last year, on February 14. TV screens at Jaipur airport began blaring the news that a CRPF convoy had been attacked by a vehicle-borne suicide bomber. As the horrific visuals appeared, he decided to do something for the bereaved families.
Jadhav began a 61,000km journey across India to meet the kin of all the slain personnel. The “pilgrimage”, as he puts it, ended last week. “I spent 2019 collecting soil from outside the homes of each jawan who lost his life. It’s all here…in this urn,” said Jadhav, a pharmacologist before he took to music.
Umesh Gopinath Jadhav gently pulls out an earthen vessel containing soil from the homes of each CRPF jawan who lost his life at Pulwama last year. At IGI Aiport, on his way to Kashmir, he told TOI that this trip means everything to him.
Locating the families of all the jawans was not an easy task. Some of them came from the interiors.
Then there were other challenges. His car, painted with patriotic slogans, often served as shelter for the night. He couldn’t afford hotel bills.
“We ate together and cried together. I even celebrated my birthday on December 21 with the family of a soldier from Punjab’s Ropar,” he said. At each stopover, he took a fistful of earth which he put in the urn that he will now present the CRPF in Srinagar to “keep alive the memory of the men”.
Zulfiquar Hasan, special DG (J&K Zone), told TOI that the commemoration would be a quiet affair but Jadhav was invited as a special guest in recognition of his gesture. Jadhav, in turn, hoped what he did would have positive outcomes for his family too. “My wife and two kids are proud of me. I hope someday my children will be inspired to join the defence forces. That will be my reward,” he said.
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