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Bengaluru’s super-patriot Jadhav builds memorial for Pulwama martyrs by collecting soil from their homes

Umesh Gopinath Jadhav who travelled 1.15 lakh kilometres and met families of Pulwama and other martyrs to collect soil from the homes for a memorial

Umesh Gopinath Jadhav – the man with the noble mission of highlighting the courage and sacrifice of Indian armed and paramilitary forces — is back home in Bengaluru. He accomplished the task of collecting soil from outside the homes of martyrs of the Pulama attack.

Jadhav travelled 1.15 lakh kilometres by road and met families of 144 martyrs. On hearing of the dastardly attack in Pulwama on February 14, 2019, this 40-year-old pharmacy professor and musician, decided to give up his job and meet the families of the martyrs to collect the soil. After starting crowd-funding on April 9, 2019, he left on his mission.

Recollecting the Pulwama incident, Jadhav said: “It shook me. I then decided to collect the soil from the homes of all the martyrs. Already one memorial has been built with the soil of Pulwama martyrs, now the soil collected from the homes of the other martyrs will also be handed over to the defence forces to make another memorial in Delhi.”

Besides the families of the 40 Central Reserve Police Force Pulwama martyrs, Jadhav also met those whose members had died in the World War I and II, Kargil war, Uri attack, Pathankot attack, Operation Rakshak, Galwan clash and recent Coonoor helicopter crash in which the Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat died.

Talking about his journey, Jadhav observed: “Even without wearing the uniform, one can do a lot for the country. This is what I realised when I travelled across the country and interacted with the martyrs’ families and citizens.”

Jadhav started his mission by meeting  CRPF jawan H. Guru’s family in Mandya. Since it was not possible for him to meet all the martyrs’ families, he tried to meet at least two from each State.

In Nasik something extraordinary happened when four different families came to meet him and they all had combined the soil from their respective homes in one kalash, instead of four. “This one was very emotional,” he said.

Soil from the homes of the two Field Marshals General KM Cariappa and General Sam Manekshaw, and 26/11 martyr Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan were also collected by him.,

Having finished his mission, Jadhav along with his friends is planning to make a documentary based on the interactions he had with the martyrs’ families, to be given to the Ministry of Defence.