For Captain Bhagirath Somayji ,special prayers are pouring in from St Vincents School for Boys,his alma mater,hoping for his speedy recovery.
Somayji was one of the four Indian Army men injured in an ambush in South Sudan that also killed five soldiers.
Somayji, a former student of St Vincents,was part of the UN peacekeeping mission,deployed in the troubled area. This was his first deployment after completing his course from the prestigious Indian Military Academy (IMA).
According to some family friends,who did not wish to disclose their identities,Somayji is at present stable and undergoing treatment at the Armys R &R hospital in New Delhi.
One bullet entered his leg just above the knee and exited from the back of the thigh,while two more are still lodged in his hip. Doctors are assessing his condition,they said.
Apart from being a school prefect and goal keeper,teachers fondly remember Somayji as an ideal student. Sushma Saldana,the science teacher of St Vincents remembers Somayji as an obedient and excellent student who knew how to balance his studies with leisure. He was by nature a very helpful boy and was ever ready to help us out in whatever way he could. In fact he always kept in touch with all of us,and made it a point to call us and wish us on teachers day every year, she remembered.
Besides being good in studies,Somayji,according to his teachers,took a keen interest in sports and was the assistant scout master of the school.
Scout master Carlos Dupratt,recalled that during the annual camps,feats that required courage and grit were always entrusted with Somayji. Our annual camps are held in remote locations like Bhor and in case we had to get some emergency ration from the nearby habitations,Bhagi (his pet name in school) always volunteered to do it, he stated.
He went on to add that it was because of his liking for the rough-and-tough life,that Somayji decided to join the Army. It was his ambition right from his school days.
Somayji was looking forward to his deployment in Sudan and had visited the school before leaving for Sudan.
Benny Varghese,the computer teacher,had a conversation with Somayji about the deployment,and when Varghese expressed his doubts considering the political uncertainties in Sudan,Somayji had tried to dispel them.
He said he would be part of the peacekeeping force and nothing would happen to him, he said.
Now all that the teachers of St Vincents can do is pray.