Siachen Braveheart: More support pours in for Hanumanthappa's wife amid criticism
Two days after OneIndia reported on the unfulfilled promises to Siachen braveheart Hanumanthappa Koppad's family, support continues to flow in for his wife Mahadevi Koppad. Union Ministers such as Smriti Irani, Maneka Gandhi and prominent leaders like Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Meenakshi Lekhi through their offices are in constant touch with the 27-year-old wife of a martyr.
Mahadevi says she is grateful to all efforts of all those who have extended help. "When my husband's body was brought to Hubballi, I was overwhelmed to see many from the government contribute money from their pockets towards the expenses of transportation and final rites. Despite the sorrow we were in, we saw how much those in authority did for us. We are grateful but only in the matter of the job, there was a delay. I do not know why there was a delay in this one aspect but I am happy to see so much being done," she said confidently. She is sure of getting a job soon looking at the impact her story has created.
While Union ministers offered to help Mahadevi find a job, many criticised her plea as 'greed' despite being given a compensation. While she has not denied receiving compensation, rather is grateful to the army as well as the government for its support, a job, she feels is a security beyond monetary concerns. We asked Bengaluru MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar if compensation was any excuse for denying her a job and this is what he had to say, "No, the compensation is hardly an excuse for a wife to be denied opportunity to stand up and be financially independent and care for herself and her family. We must never forget that these are women who married bravehearts and in many ways, reflect the same values of bravery, stoicism. They do not deserve pity or charity but are owed respect and all support to stand up on their own."
A tweet from Chandrasekhar elicited a response from Union Minister Smriti Irani who assured of helping Mahadevi find a job the Central Silk Board.
@rajeev_mp reaching out to her through our institution in Karnataka Rajeev, hope to give you good news soon.— Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) February 23, 2017
On Wednesday, we reported on Union Minister Maneka Gandhi reaching out to Mahadevi (/india/siachen-braveheart-maneka-gandhi-reaches-out-to-hanumanthappas-wife-2355476.html) to offer a job in an Anganwadi in Hubballi. It was also reported that the district administration office has conveyed to Mahadevi that an appointment letter would be doled out in less than a month.
Are promises to martyrs mere photo-ops?
This is a phenomenon we have seen take place time and again. Tall promises are made every time a soldier is martyred but many are forgotten or caught up in red-tapism. "I have said repeatedly that most politicians disappear after the initial photo-ops and platitudes and promises. I have seen this for several decades and that is why I started flags of honour, to ensure that the family gets what it needs long after the crowds and media leave. In this case, too there was the usual rush for politicians to go there and preen before cameras but important promises made remained unfulfilled," said Chandrasekhar.
Attempts were also made to rubbish the report simply because the family had already received a compensation. A job is more than a mere financial concern for Mahadevi, it is a sense of security and independence. The attempt is to remind the government of its forgotten promises to a martyr's wife.
"As your article did, I would like stories and spotlight on these brave women long after crowds have gone. Articles like this also alert our citizens on how the widows and the families of our bravehearts, live their lives after their loved ones have laid down their lives for the country," Chandrasekhar said. While appreciating the support and efforts of those reaching out to Mahadevi and irrespective of the criticism, we at OneIndia will report on the issue until the government fulfils its promises made to the Siachen martyr's wife.