India recently celebrated the Kargil Victory Day in which 21 years of India’s victory were completed. About 527 Indian soldiers were martyred in the war fought in the summer of 1999. Those who are alive tell stories to this day.
“Suddenly information came and our regiment had packed arms and ammunition for Kargil. Within 24 hours, we headed for the Dras sector to face one of the most difficult times of our lives, ” The X-Army recalling the conflict in 1999 The veteran says Mohan Raju.
Currently, 57-year-old elders are helping the underprivileged community after serving their country for many years during the war. In fact, in memory of his daughter Geeta, Mohan started the Sri Kumari Geeta Memorial Charitable and Education Trust in 2011.
The charitable trust removes educated and empowered children from urban slums in Bengaluru and also serves as a way of social welfare of the poor.
It has adopted five government schools in Channapatna and has cared for all the needs of students – from stationery to uniforms. In fact, NGOs have completed the adoption of five more schools in the same region.
In a conversation with Yourstory, Mohan Raju talks about his journey from a Kargil veteran to a social worker who has been active in such a difficult time.
Serve the nation
In 1999, India’s borders were infiltrated by Pakistani troops and militants who stationed themselves at higher posts in India, giving them an advantage.
“There was heavy firing near the Dras sector in Kargil and our regiment reached that area,” says Mohan. He said, ‘When we had the map, the terrorists followed completely different patterns to create confusion. To solve this mine breeching problem, our regiment was deployed. ”
Raju during army days
With the intention of occupying the peaks of Tiger Hill and Tololing, the Mines had to be cleaned. But, at the same time, many casualties occurred, and Indian bunkers were captured on the hills.
“Our troops were facing a lot of shelling from the terrorists stationed on the peaks, but at the same time, the Air Force soldiers gave us cover fire, and we could clear the mines. Thanks to this, the Jat Regiment can go to the peaks, ”shared Mohan.
However, Raju states that despite the victory, it was not a great situation as many Indian soldiers lost their lives in that war.
In 2003, Mohan took early retirement, based on compassion, to move back and live with his parents, as he was the only son. Then, in 2004, he joined the Air Force.
From a misfortune to a great cause
Living in Bengaluru with his wife and two daughters, things were going well for Mohan until his younger daughter Geeta was diagnosed with a kidney disorder called systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) at the age of nine.
SLE or lupus is a systemic autoimmune disease that can affect any part of the body. The course of the disease is completely unpredictable, and most often, it causes damage to the heart, lungs, blood vessels, liver, kidneys, joints, skin, and nervous system.
Mohan’s daughter Geeta
For almost five years, Geeta fought hard with regular checkups and medicines and took her problems with a smile. However, after spending her 15th birthday in the ICU, Geeta lost the battle to the disease on 1 March 2011.
In memory of his daughter, Mohan served the underprivileged by starting his charitable trust. The NGO specifically caters to the educational needs of children from disadvantaged sections of society.
“Through NGOs, we provide essential items to keep children with their school life – books, stationery, uniforms, shoes, bags, drinking water, toilet facilities, concessional loans for higher studies, for students. Hostel facilities, and healthcare, ” Says Mohan.
Apart from education, the NGO also focused on building clean toilets for girls, as their daughter was suffering from a possible urinary infection, which led to her fatal condition.
The NGO has built toilets in three villages around Channapatna. After a survey of the number of girls and the need for toilets, it plans to build more toilets at required places.
With former Chief Minister Sadanand Gowda
In addition, NGOs provide relief to the sick, and disadvantaged sections of society. It also arranges for them healthcare and hospital facilities.
“We have been taking care of the treatment of two leukemia patients for the last five years. Every 15th day, these children need blood as part of the treatment, followed by a four-day rest. His single mother was not in a position to earn those four days because it was a daily bet. So we used to provide around Rs 4,000 for each of these children, which was for the travel and medical expenses of those days, ”says Mohan.
The Charitable Trust is funded by Air Force officers, friends and families, who contribute generously to the cause. Some people also do this as part of their tax exemption under Section 80G of the Income Tax Act 1961.
Mohan Raju with the students of Channapatna schools
Kovid-19 Relief Work
Speaking about the relief work done by the NGO, Mohan says, “We have provided ration to over 600 people in the surrounding villages, including five kilos of rice, lentils, sugar, tea powder, sambar powder and food. Contains cooking oil. The residents of these villages were both north and south Indian laborers, whose income was severely affected by the lockdown. “
For about a week, Mohan and his family distributed freshly prepared food in settlements around the Doddbomsandra lake near Vidyanayapura. As these people used to get lunch and dinner from another source, Mohan made sure to provide them with breakfast.
“While most migrant workers had moved back to their hometowns, some people were still stranded here and looking for jobs,” he says.
Kovid-19 Relief Work
Mohan and his team even surveyed areas to locate those who needed medicines to maintain their health. He helped more than 50 people, who were surviving with their pension.
Coordinating with the headmaster of schools in Channapatna, Mohan is also ensuring that online classes are taking place regularly. Since the number of Kovid-19 cases in this area is very high, he is working on this remote.
While five schools have already been adopted, the other five still have some paperwork to adopt. Whatever be the organization, the organization is also supporting these schools.
“We have plans to expand our work in Karnataka to other areas like Tiptur and Chintamani. We also plan to conduct women and child development programs. But currently we have a problem with our fund. We are trying to do our best at the moment. We are hoping that things will improve in the coming months. “