Sporting the Indian Army’s attire and a big moustache, Jitendra Singh Gurjar nurtures his evergreen passion for making people happy. While Gurjar was still in his teens, he had to abandon his dreams of becoming a soldier as financial constraints weighed heavily upon him.
A native of Rajasthan’s Bharatpur district, 42-year-old Gurjar’s love for the Indian Army is unparalleled. Unable to fulfill his childhood dream, Gurjar began working as a security guard. But why is Gurjar so special?
For 21 years now, Gurjar has been writing letters to the families of the martyrs killed on international borders. So far, he has written more than 4,000 letters since the Kargil War of 1999.
Speaking with Platocast, Gurjar says: “There are many men in the Indian Army from our district. During the Kargil War in 1999, I would keep reading and watching the news, and every few hours, I would learn that a soldier had died trying to protect our country. When a soldier from Rajasthan, named Arjun Ram, lost his life, his father said: “Mera beta toh chala gaya, lekin watan abhi salamat hain”.
“That’s when I realised that these soldiers are creating history. Back at that time, people did not usually have mobile phones. The soldiers would write letters to their families, assuring them that they are safe on the borders and will be back home. I have myself seen that some of these letters reached the families after their sons were dead. It broke my heart,” adds Gurjar.
Gurjar, who had tried to join the Indian Army as a young man, failed the physical test as he fell short by just 1 cm with regards to height and chest requirements. However, his love for the Army prompted him to wear the uniform anyway.
“I began writing these letters because I knew that even though I could not help the families of the martyrs financially, I could do my best to provide them with some solace through my words. When some of them replied, I felt like the happiest man in the world,” Gurjar says.
“I have made several statues of martyrs and carefully kept them in my house. I have thousands and thousands of their photographs, and even more phone numbers of the families of martyrs. I keep my unfulfilled dreams alive through my work.” he adds.
Gurjar also opens up about his day-to-day struggles due to poor financial condition.
“I have earned a lot of respect through my work, but I have continuously struggled financially. I have to strive to even buy papers, postcards, pens and pencils to write the letters. I often run out of money when I want to print pictures of martyrs,” says Gurjar.
“Maine sab apne balboote pe kiya hain. I know that when I cease to exist, there will perhaps be no one to carry my work and passion forward. Earlier, some people had seen my work and come forward expressing their desire to write letters like me. But after some days, they became tired and left. I have been doing it for 21 years, and I am not going to stop,” he adds.
Jitendra Singh Gurjar is a man like no other. Here’s wishing joy and success to the penman whose main motive in life is to extend support and comfort to the world.