Shaheed Naik Ganesh Yadav
Naik Ganesh Yadav of the Bihar Regiment Centre
On his last visit home three months
ago, the eldest of Ramdeo Prasad's three sons had promised to return in
August to reconstruct the family house. That wasn't to be, but Ganesh Bhaiyya's
death has stirred up Pandeychak village in Patna district like nothing
else. "We're all ready to meet his fate," is the battle cry of young boys.
And although his death's left Ganesh's young wife Pushpa Rai dazed, she
is confident of sending their 18-month-old son Abhishek to complete the
"unfinished task of my husband".
father fights for the nation, son faces a different battle
Delhi, July 3 (Vishal Thapar)
The family of an Army officer
who is fighting for the nation in Kargil is battling another enemy at home:
leukaemia (a malignant form of blood cancer), which has afflicted his teenage
“I have no regret my husband
is on the front. We’re so proud he’s with the unit when the nation needs
him the most,” says Neeta Yadav, wife of Colonel DN Yadav.
Life came to a standstill
for the Yadavs when Karan, 17, a brilliant Class XII student, was diagnosed
suffering from the disease last September. Karan, who scored 98 per cent
in science and mathematics in Class X, rapidly lost 15 kg and was forced
to abandon the Class XII board exams.
The family immediately shifted
from Ferozepur to Delhi. The only permanent cure for Karan is a bone marrow
transplant. His sister Nidhi can be the donor — the marrows of the donor
and recipient have to match perfectly, which is possible among siblings.
But this is an expensive and difficult operation.
Discouraged by the low success
rate in Delhi, Mumbai and Vellore, the Yadavs contacted Prof. J.M. Goldman
of London’s Hammersmith Hos-pital. An authority in marrow transplants,
Goldman was optimistic about Karan recovering, but put the cost of treatment
at 71,000 pounds (Rs 50 lakh).
Col Yadav was in the process
of selling some family property to raise a part of the money when he was
ordered to return to his unit at Nimu, Leh, in the Kargil sector.
He had been in Delhi partly
on leave and partly on attachment. Private appeals yielded nothing. And
even these efforts came to a standstill with Col Yadav’s departure.
“I’m worried for my husband
on one front, and coping with my son’s ailment on the other,” exclaims
Mrs Yadav. “We’ve been unable to raise any money.” For the moment, Karan
is being treated at the Army Research and Referral Hospital, where he takes
an interferon injection daily. Each costs Rs 2,500 but, fortunately, the
Army provides it free.
“There’s no way I could have
pulled on without this facility,” he acknowledges. How does it feel not
having his father around when he needs him? “I'm proud of him. I told him
to fight hard and not worry about me,” replies the teenager.
ut Nidhi is frank: “War should
stop and Papa should come back.” These days, Nidhi has the last word on
everything. Any disagreement with Karan is disdainfully brushed aside.
“I’m your donor!” she reminds him.