Siachen braveheart: Will sweep the floor, but give me a job, pleads Hanumanthappa's wife
Life has not been easy for Mahadevi Koppad since her husband and Siachen braveheart Hanumanthappa Koppad passed away in 2016. The last one year has been a tumultuous one for the single mother whose eyes tear up each time her three-year-old little girl points to Hanumanthappa's photographs and says Appa.
"It is not easy being a single mother. She misses her father and I can only try to give her all the love that she would have received had he been alive. I want her to join the army like her father did. I will tell her stories of soldiers, their sacrifice and their bravery to inspire her," Mahadevi said in this exclusive conversation with OneIndia.
There were one too many politicians, bureaucrats and representatives who came to offer condolences when Hanumanthappa passed away. Many promises were made, some were fulfilled while others are yet to see the light of day. The Karnataka government has given the family cash and land as promised but that hasn't ensured the dignity of life for Mahadevi.
The young single mother pleads for a job so she can live a dignified life. "I want a job to take care of myself and my child. I have not asked for anything specific, I will sweep the floor if I have to, but give me a job is all I ask. Authorities call me now and then and say that I will surely be given a job but for a year I have waited in vain. I am tired. I can't keep pleading with the government for a job. Give me the option of living my life in dignity," she said evidently disgusted with the system that denied the widow of a brave soldier the option of being independent.
For a year now, the martyr's wife has seen material for the memorial that was promised being dumped in her village but it is far from completion. The memorial was planned near the village panchayat office. The chief minister's office claims that funds have been released for the memorial and material required have been purchased but what then stops authorities from beginning the construction? A lack of will, it seems.
While the Karnataka government needs to be appreciated for sanctioning the land and cash for the martyr's family, denying job for his wife is truly unfortunate. Many from the government now claim that the responsibility of giving her a job falls on the centre government. They are pointing fingers at the director general of resettlement while it was, in fact, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah who had announced a job for a family member.
We asked Koppad what she had to say about this blame game, her answer should knock the conscience of this nation and its people. "They are political parties at the end of the day and blame game comes naturally to them. If a soldier says the same? What will you do? If a soldier plays the blame game, can this country sleep peacefully? If a soldier works for a state and not a nation, where will the government go? The blame game is not the answer, playing with our lives is not the answer," she said slamming all those trying to shirk away from responsibilities and promises made.
"I have God on my side. I believe that my husband is alive and is with me each minute. I have undergone many troubles this past year and I shall survive this too. Most of my troubles are personal but being independent will put an end to it. If nothing, a job will help keep my mind occupied and give me peace', she said.
Hanumantappa lay his life down for this country and his wife and daughter are struggling for a dignified life. The big words and the deep condolences are of little use if a martyr's wife has to plead for what is rightfully hers. It is time for those in authority to wake up.