Pictures of ANITA in newspapers crying over her father’s grave, bidding adieu to him with a teary salute stayed with us long after the media had packed up and left. We heard her wails through the papers and decided to travel to her hometown to visit the family and talk.
ANITA’s father was martyred in the summer of 2017 while on a mission with his battalion. His wife, two daughters and his parents survive him. The sharp pain of loss may have now subsided, but family is still struggling to come to terms with the tragedy.
“Just days before he had come home for a holiday and we had a great time. Had I known that was the last time I would have spent every second of the day with him”, ANITA says with her voice thickening.
Sensing deep sorrow in her voice we change the topic to academics and sports. She tells us about her love for basketball, sketching and music.
Studies are important to her even if that means traveling 15 kilometers everyday to school. The travel to school leaves her with no time for tuitions during the week and she can only go for them during weekends. That’s a hectic life for someone so young.
“Yes, it is difficult and ANITA gets exhausted by the everyday commute, but she has the passion to do well in studies. She knows that that will make her father happy, wherever he is”, her mother says looking at her daughter with pride.
She is an all-rounder at school and her teachers tell us that apart from being an active learner she keenly participates in school debates and sports competitions.
“When the tragedy struck she had become quiet and withdrawn, and we were concerned about her studies, but with the help of family and friends she has been able to overcome the most difficult phase. She is very determined,” her class teacher says while applauding the girl’s bravery.
Biology is her favourite subject and has opted for Science stream to fulfill her dream of becoming a doctor in the Armed Forces. Why an Army doctor and not a civil doctor?
“As an Army doctor I can service the nation by giving good medical treatment to our soldiers, so that they can continue fighting for the country. I want to bring as many soldiers as possible back to their families hale and hearty, as a tribute to my father who loved us but loved his comrades and mother land more”, ANITA says of her ambition.
From the devastated girl we saw in the papers to the girl we are now speaking to face-to-face, in just a matter of months ANITA has grown to be a strong-minded girl who is ready to move mountains to make her father proud. Salute!
GGF: The foundation takes pride in standing by the proud children of real Heroes of India. The foundation will fund the entire education of these children, from school to college and realise the dreams Martyrs had in mind for their children. The foundation believes that education is the key which can open millions of doors.