Sunday, September 10, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Abandoned daughter of Kargil martyr
By Bipin Bhardwaj

CHANDIGARH, Sept 9 — Relationships die with death, learnt Roopali Suresh Jadav only after her father died in the battle for Kargil. Her mother died of shock soon after. Abandoned by the family, the 25-year-old handicapped daughter of an Army Captain, with just a pair of trousers to her name, is at the mercy of strangers.

Her deep black eyes narrate the woeful tale as she sits on the roadside next to a tea-vendor. ‘‘I was turned out of the house without a single penny. Whatever was given as compensation was taken away by the relatives. Today, I am sleeping at the house of one stranger or the other’’.

A resident of Killari in Latur district of Maharashtra, the M.Com student encountered misfortune many times during her tearful journey from Latur to Chandigarh in search of hope.

She was thrown out of her house by her uncle after he allegedly took away the money which her mother received after the death of Roopali’s father, Capt. Suresh Jadav, during ‘‘Operation Vijay’’ in Kargil.

Narrating her tragic tale, Roopali says: ‘‘My mother Vita Bai could not bear the shock of my father’s death and passed away after three months. A relative grabbed the ex-gratia payment she had received from the government. Thereafter my relatives started ignoring me and my brother. After the death of my mother, my brother also died mysteriously. He was killed’’.

Holding back her tears, she laments: ‘‘I was treated as a servant. I used to work throughout the day and was not given dinner. Then ultimately I was thrown out of the house. The application form for a post in the railways was also destroyed.”

‘‘Some neighbours used to provide me food and money. I spent over 15 nights in the fields as there was no one who could arrange for my night stay. As life became a curse I decided to go to Chandigarh as my father had been deployed with the MES here in 1992’’, Roopali stated.

While talking to The Tribune, Roopali gave details of her journey from Latur to Chandigarh. After boarding a bus she reached the Pune railway station and obtained permission for free travel to Ambala with the assistance of railway police personnel. She reached the Ambala railway station on September 1 at about 3 a.m. and came to Chandigarh in the evening.

‘‘ The city was new to me. I passed the night at the railway station and travelled to Hallomajra, where an employee in a water tubewell took me to Manav Kendra near Mansa Devi Temple in Mani Majra. I spent one night there and the very next morning reached the Tribune Chowk. An old tea vendor took pity on me and provided me with food and shelter in his house,’’ she discloses.

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