"Fascinated with simplifying the complicated and writing on the extraordinary lives of ordinary people. Also, a hodophile."
Umesh Gopinath Jadhav, a Bengaluru-based musician was invited as a special guest at a low key wreath-laying ceremony at Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Lethpora camp in Pulwama on Friday.
The 39-year-old pharmacist turned musician has travelled more than 61,000 km crossing boundaries across the country to meet families of the 40 martyrs who lost their lives in the Pulwama attack last year.
"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 fathers, friends lost their friends," said Jadhav as reported by the news agency ANI.
"I collected soil from their houses and their cremation grounds," Jadhav added.
Jadhav was invited to the inauguration ceremony of the memorial that has been set up in 185 Battalion of CRPF. In a close-knit ceremony which was attended by the top security officials only, Jadhav handed over the urn with the soil to the CRPF's Special Director General, Zulfikhar Hasan.
The battalion is two kilometres away from the site where the Jaish-e-Mohammed suicide bomber crashed his car packed with explosives into the security convoy killing the 40 CRPF personnel.
It has been reported that the names of all the 40 personnel along with their pictures is part of the memorial along with the CRPF motto— 'Seva and Nishtha' (Service and Loyalty).
Redefining 'patriotism,' Jadhav, embarked on a 'nationwide' yatra on April 9, 2019, from Bengaluru to travel around 29 states and 7 Union Territories in the country to collect soil from the home towns of all the 40 CRPF personnel killed in the incident last year, especially to meet their families.
He has been crowdfunding his travel, driving around the country in his modified car painted with patriotic slogans and raising awareness on donation through the 'Bharat Ke Veer' initiative.
Jadhav was at the Ajmer Airport where he had gone to attend a professional event when the Pulwama terror attack took place.
"I saw the news and was stunned. I was numb. I wanted to pay respects to them but did not know how, so I thought of visiting all their families," he said as reported by The Print.
"I also decided that I will collect soil from each of their hometowns and take it to Pulwama to create an India map," added Jadhav.
Thank you for subscribing.
We have sent you a confirmation email.