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Retired Army General cycles to pay homage to martyrs

Retired Army General cycles to pay homage to martyrs
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A retired Army officer is cycling across the country to pay homage to the defence personnel who laid down their lives for the nation. Major General (retired) Somnath Jha decided to pay homage to each of around 21,000 Armed Forces personnel,

Ahmedabad: A retired Army officer is cycling across the country to pay homage to the defence personnel who laid down their lives for the nation. Major General (retired) Somnath Jha decided to pay homage to each of around 21,000 Armed Forces personnel, who have lost their life since Independence, by cycling for two minutes for each of them. Jha's last posting was at Ambala Cantonment in Haryana from where he retired in September last year. He spent nearly 37-years in the Army.

"So many of our friends have sacrificed their lives for the country. So after retirement, I decided to travel across the nation on bicycle by pedalling two minutes for each of the 21,000 martyrs, thereby travelling for 42,000 minutes across most parts of the country," Major General (retd) Jha, who is currently stationed in Gandhinagar told PTI. Jha said so far he has covered 30,500 minutes and plans to cover another 11,500-odd minutes by the end of April.

"I have so far covered 24 states and will resume my journey from here tomorrow. I will cover Rajasthan before ending the travel at Amar Jawan Jyoti in New Delhi where I will pay my tributes to the martyrs," Jha said. "I had given myself a mandate to cover most of the country's states while clocking 42,000 minutes journey from Ambala to New Delhi," he said. While Jha is riding solo, he is being provided with logistics support by a team of seven persons, including his wife Chitra, who are accompanying him on a car throughout the journey.

"The experience so far has been exhilarating and every moment is memorable. When people know about the purpose behind my cycling, they receive me with warmth. I must say every single Indian is a patriot who are helpful and full of love," Jha said. "The only thing is that we lack time to express our patriotism. I have asked people to light at least one diya in the name of a martyr on Diwali to express their gratitude for the sacrifice made by the martyr," he said.

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