Shankar Kumar,a Kargil hero and a jawan at Army’s artillery unit 205 SATA (Surveillance And Target Acquisition) battery,was killed in 2002 by local goons of his village Kemra Gaon in Bihar. A list of promises announced by the local government a job to Shankar’s widow,a land for the family to construct house,a memorial of Shankar Kumar with his statue installed and a road between Diha and Kemra named after the late soldier never materialised. But thanks to city-based organisation Sainik Mitra Pariwar (SMP) whose monetary support for the cause has now resulted in at least a part of the tribute to the soldier being taken care of.
Today,a memorial built in Kumar’s name stands in Kemra and a visibly satisfied father gives the credit to SMP. The smarak will be inaugurated by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on a date yet to be finalised. Kumar was with 28 RR during the Kargil operations.
“The district collectorate had made many promises after my son’s death. They had promised Rs 1.4 lakh for the construction of a memorial in my son’s name. Till date,only Rs 14,000 have been paid which we have used for making the statue,” said hi sfather Arjun Singh,75. While promises faded within a year of Kumar’s death,Singh was approached by SMP in 2003. “We read the story in The Indian Express and invited Singh to Pune. The funds were gathered from well wishers and our members. We are satisfied that a jawan who fought for our nation has a memorial and will be remembered for years to come,” said SMP founder Anand Saraf. The organisation contributed Rs 50,000 towards the construction of the memorial.
The contribution by SMP is remembered and recorded/ carved well at the memorial which says – In memory of martyr jawan Shankar,with the help from Sainik Mitra Pariwar,Pune.
The marble memorial has been constructed at a cost of Rs 3.5 lakh.
“The date for inauguration has not been finalised. But we have been promised by the CM that he would inaugurate the memorial,” said Singh.