The pride of the family

When we asked 10-year old Garv what he remembers about his father his eyes lit up as he said “He always got my favourite sweets whenever he came home!”. This comment amused us a little but at the age of 10 there aren’t many things as precious as eating your favourite sweets.

His father laid down his life during a terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir in 2016. Garv was only 8 years old then and didn’t understand what hit his family. Slowly he understood that his dear father would not return home. Even though he couldn’t spend a lot of time with him, his father left a positive impact on him and he wants to follow his footsteps and join the defence forces.

“Papa was a brave man and I want to be brave like him”, he said with a glint in his eyes. He smiled at his mother as he said it and she smiled back. She isn’t familiar with the Hindi language as they speak their local Bihari dialect at home, and we weren’t sure whether she’d be fine with her son’s dream of joining the forces.

Garv’s uncle is the one who has been handling his father’s paper work for the family. He told us that they only started receiving the martyr’s pension from January 2017 but that also stopped a few months later owing to red tapism. This has put the family under financial strain.

He also threw light on the local government school that was more focused on mid-day meals than education. The students, he told us, are often seen helping with preparing the meals than in classrooms. This particular school is only half a kilometer from the family’s house and had been the easy choice for Garv’s education, “but there isn’t any environment for studies”, the uncle lamented. Hence, after his father’s martyrdom Garv was sent to an English medium boarding school.

Garv was becoming a little careless in studies but after he was enrolled in his new school he is doing well in studies and developing holistically. “These children are our future and even though it is expensive we took the decision to send him to a private school for better education”, he said with a look of pride.

The uncle is a strong anchor for Garv and his mother who is less educated and also shy. He is taking good care of his nephew’s education and with such support and love the young boy is sure to flourish.