Shortly after the Kargil war, 1999, in which twelve soldiers hailing from Gujarat were martyred, Kathiawar’s Patel community formed five trusts under the Jay Jawan Nagrik Samiti (JJNS), to provide financial assistance to their families.
Capitalizing on the patriotic sentiments of the local citizens of Surat, the Varachha Bank opened a savings account, in which money started pouring in. The families of the twelve Gujarati soldiers were honoured publicly and financial assistance was gifted to their next of kin.
Following the unfortunate earthquake in Gujarat in 2000, on a request from Brigadier B.S. Mehta (retd), former Vice Chancellor, Maharishi University of Management and Technology, Bilaspur (Chattisgarh), JJNS, extended support and financial assistance to 120 families of the Indian Air Force base at Bhuj, which had been completely wiped out.
Since then, JJNS has been holding a public function named Samarpan Gauarv Samaroh every year on/around Kargil Diwas, 26 July, to honour and gift financial assistance to next of kin of martyrs of the armed forces. Following this event held in 2016, JJNS had disbursed a total of Rs. 3.15 crore to 198 families of martyrs.
This year, for the Samarpan Gauarv Samaroh, held on 22 July, 2017, JJNS invited Gen. V.P. Malik, PVSM, AVSM (retired), the Army Chief during the Kargil War, to attend this function as its President. He was accompanied by his wife, Dr. Mrs Ranjana Malik, who headed the Army Wives’ Welfare Association during Gen Malik’s tenure as army chief and was quite involved with the welfare of war-widows.
The auditorium with a capacity of 1200 was more than full and for every martyr’s account of valour, there was heavy applause.