Meet Umesh Gopinath Jadhav, who is a musician from Bengaluru, has spent whole 2019 traveling across the country meeting the families of all the 40 CRPF men killed in the Pulwama attack. It is said that he has collected soil from outside the homes of jawan to construct their memorial.
A memorial for all 40 Martyrs
On Friday, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) held the wreath-laying ceremony at CRPF campus in Kashmir’s Lethpora to remember the soldiers and mark the first anniversary of Pulwama Attack. However, the ceremony had a very special guest from Bengaluru.
Umesh Gopinath traveled 61,000 km across India to meet families of the 40 jawans and collecting soil from their homes. He presented the urn at the memorial column at the Lethpora camp.
A Bengaluru-based musician Umesh Gopinath Jadhav is on a nationwide yatra to the homes of martyrs where he's collecting soil, with which he plans to build a memorial in #Pulwama. @sunilJbhat's #ReporterDiary
Full video: https://t.co/T9kREX2W2C pic.twitter.com/pRr79KddHc
— India Today (@IndiaToday) January 1, 2020
Based in Bengaluru, Gopinath’s main purpose was to pay respect and homage to the jawans who lost their lives in the attack. He also owns a music school and he is hoping to raise Rs 50,000 for each of the martyrs’ families.
“I have not got any donation or sponsorship for collecting the soil. I have traveled 61,000 km on my own to collect the soil. Their soil is for mother earth,” he said.
He said that the incident was so shocking that he could not sleep for weeks, thinking about the families who lost their beloved ones. It was then he decided to do something for the martyrs. Traveling whole India in a one-man journey, Gopinath started on April 9 from Bengaluru across 16 states meeting families of all the 40 martyrs.
“I am proud that I met all the families of Pulwama martyrs and sought their blessings. Parents lost their son, wives lost their husbands, children lost their father and friends lost their friends. I collect soil from their house and their cremation grounds,” he added.
A journey of 61,000 km
Gopinath further talked about his journey which he said was not easy. Some of the jawan’s family location was hard to track. Moreover, he often used to sleep in his car as he couldn’t afford hotels.
“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.
Seeing his patriotism to the nation, the Indian army invited him as a special guest at the wreath-laying ceremony.
“My wife and two kids are proud of me. I hope someday my children will be inspired to join the Indian army. That will be my reward,” he concluded.
Jammu and Kashmir: The soil collected by Maharashtra's Umesh Gopinath Jadhav from the houses and cremation grounds of the 40 CRPF jawans who lost their lives in 2019 #PulwamaAttack, being placed at the memorial at CRPF's Lethpora camp. pic.twitter.com/53ikQ2kfpu
— Gulistan News (@GulistanNewsTV) February 14, 2020