Jitendra Singh, a private security guard in Surat, says he’s doing his bit to honour martyrs by sending their families a letter of gratitude.
Jitendra Singh has been writing letters to the families of martyrs for the last 18 years. And this 37-year-old private security guard in Surat wants to keep going as long as he can.
"I have been writing these letters since the 1999 Kargil War. I think that being in the army is a tough job, and it is the country’s duty to respect martyrs who sacrifice their lives for us. There are many people who have been living under the dark clouds of grief after losing their loved ones, and we should fulfill our moral duties towards those families," he told The Better India.
Jitendra, who has written 4,000 letters till now, says his objective is to offer his gratitude to families for the service their sons, husbands and fathers did for the people of India.
A native of Kutkheda village in Bharatpur district, Rajasthan, Jitendra Singh has an army connection. “My family members have been serving in the Indian Army since World War II. I too wanted to join the army but failed. My father was in the Mahar Regiment. When the Kargil War was on, he would mention if a martyred soldier was from his company. It was then that I decided to write letters to martyrs’ families,” he says.
The man, who finds it tough to make ends meet on his meagre salary of Rs 10,400, has dedicated a space in his house to write letters. The “writer’s corner” houses stationery weighing 9 quintals. He also has a database of 38,000 martyrs and wishes to send them all a letter of gratitude soon.
Speaking of how he collects details of the martyrs and their families, he says:
I have tried to contact Army Headquarters in New Delhi to get addresses of martyrs’ families, but they say they can’t provide addresses. I have been using newspapers and other sources of media to collect information and addresses. I just want to tell their families that there is one man in Gujarat who thinks of their wellbeing, Jitendra says.
In the last 18 years, Jitendra has expressed how he feels about martyrs several times. He has named his son after Hardeep Singh, a martyr from Karnal, Haryana, who sacrificed his life in 2003 fighting terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir, according to The Better India.
In a conversation with The Hindu Jitendra adds,
I strongly feel that it is the duty of everyone to respect martyrs because of whom we are safe and enjoying the fruits of democracy. I have seen the miserable lives the affected families lead. We all must be grateful to them. I do my bit by writing letters. This is my special way of honouring martyrs. Jai Hind.