Bhopal : Exemplifying the indomitable spirit of ‘unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno’ (one for all, all for one), the Indian Army and civilians alike have rushed to the rescue of 80-year-old Captain Virandra Raj Dayal – a 1965 Indo-Pak War veteran who was decorated with the Samar Seva Star and Sainya Seva Medal but life played a cruel joke on him when his only son was claimed by cancer at the young age of 34.
His daughter is married but owing to certain compulsions is unable to take care of Capt Dayal and his spouse Lotty who were found languishing at the Sarathi Vridh Seva Ashram – a home for the aged – located in the Madhya Pradesh capital’s congested Kolar area. They moved from one such facility to another over the years.
After the couple’s plight was highlighted by a vernacular national daily, retired Brigadier Vinayak Ramnarayan, Vishisht Seva Medal, accompanied by veterans Col Bharat Vats and Javahar K P visited the home and extended financial assistance in the true military spirit of ‘leave no man behind’.
“Col Vats resides close by and was the first to reach. Subsequently, Brig Vinayak informed local military authorities and the Army Headquarters recommending medical cover and financial assistance. The Armed Forces fraternity mobilised to help their brother in distress,” Brig Vinayak’s wife Dr Jailaxmi R Vinayak told UNI.
Offers to provide cash have been pouring in. The ex-ECO (Emergency Commissioned Officer) has been advised to open a bank account here to facilitate crowd funding. The General Officer Commanding Sudarshan Chakra Corps and GOC Sub Area have directed staff to provide maximum assistance. Measures have been initiated to make Capt Dayal a member of the Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme. On Saturday, Major General VK Tripathi, GOC Sub Area met the couple and handed over the ECHS document plus financial assistance.
Earlier, Assembly Speaker Girish Gautam presented a cheque for Rs 50,000 and some utility items. The commanding officers of Capt Dayal’s ex-units spoke to the couple on video call and promised help.
Capt Dayal served for six years since 1964. During the 1965 conflict, he fought on the frontiers of the North-East Frontier Agency (present-day Arunachal Pradesh), Bengal and Assam.
After starting life on Civvy Street, the veteran took up jobs at various schools here and in adjoining rural areas. His wife also worked as principal.