Satyabhama,80,can barely walk but when she received a letter a month ago that her husband who died fighting for the nation in the 1971 war would be felicitated posthumously,she could not wait to come to Delhi.
Her husband,Devendra Singh Bahuguna,was killed in Dalu sector of Meghalaya by the Pakistani Army during the Bangladesh liberation war.
On Friday,Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde felicitated Bahuguna and three others Kalyan Singh Negi,R K Wadhawa and B S Tyagi for their contribution to the 1971 war. The families also got a cheque of Rs 50,000 each from the Border Security Force. I was married only for three years when I lost my husband. I do not have any children and am staying with my husbands family in Uttarakashi. I can barely walk but I wanted to receive this honour on my husbands behalf. This is the first time I am coming to Delhi. It is the gesture which counts. Who remembers people like us? said Satyabhama.
What would she do with the money? She said,Money was hardly a consideration for coming here but I have severe health problems. I am suffering from arthritis and I had a surgery to remove appendix also. Some money I will spend on good food, she said.
BSF and Border Guards Bangladesh have decided to construct a memorial site for those from both countries who were killed in the 1971 war in Dalu sector.
Sushma Devi,who was married for 13 years when she lost her husband Kalyan Singh Negi in the war,said she was surprised at the forces decision to recognise her husbands contribution,42 years after the war. The memory is still fresh,I cannot forget the day he was killed. I have been alone all these years. Today I felt important, she said.
The BSF has declared this year as the year of the jawan. Speaking on the occasion,Shinde said,Seniors should be little more considerate about the problems faced by the jawans. Living conditions in the border outposts have undergone major transformation in the past few years. A family housing scheme is also underway for officers and jawans.