Vasundhara, 8, niece of Late Lieutenant Vijayant Thapar of the Rajputana Rifles – killed in the Kargil War – is named after her uncle’s regiment’s motto, ‘Vir Bhogya Vasundhara’. Addressing an audience gathered at the India Gate on Friday on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Kargil Vijay Diwas, she narrated stories of her uncle passed down from her father and grandparents.
“I know that he was very kind. He took care of a young girl named Ruksana after she saw her father shot down by militants in Kupwara and went into a state of shock,” she said. “My dada tells me he used to wake my uncle up at 6:30 every morning and they would go cycling and jogging,” she added.
Her grandmother, Tripta Thapar, also addressed the audience: “Let us keep their memory alive. These 527 soldiers gave up their today for our tomorrow. My son was loving, affectionate and disciplined. But most of all, he was a true desh-bhakt.”
The event at India Gate began at 4:30 pm with a wreath-laying ceremony. Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Minister of State for Defence, Shripad Yesso Naik and Minister of State for Animal Husbandry, Pratap Sarangi, were chief guests at the event and paid tribute.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh paid tribute to those who fought tough battles during the conflict, saying their unwavering courage and supreme sacrifice ensured the safety and sanctity of the country’s borders.
He was speaking after paying homage at the National War Memorial.
(With PTI inputs)