The heartwarming last letter of Odisha’s Kargil martyr Maj. Padmapani Acharya to family
Bhubaneswar: Originally hailing from Odisha, Major Padmapani Acharya made the state proud when he was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra for his valour in the Kargil war where he fought bravely to capture Tololing in Dras sector, but succumbed to grenade injuries, 19 years ago. On the occasion of the 19th Kargil Vijay Diwas, we remember the braveheart for his valour and courage.
He wrote a letter to his father on June 19, 1999 where he describes his experiences in the war and talks about the then Prime Minister Atal bihari Vajpayee’s visit, the food served, use of Vaseline cream, the Bengali doctor in their unit and the lessons of Mahabharata.
He tells his father with neatly written handwriting on an inland letter that “casualties are a professional hazard which go beyond our control but for a good cause” and advises him to tell his six-month-pregnant wife Charulatha a story from Mahabharata everyday, so that his child “imbibes good values”.
Major Acharya was commissioned with the Rajputana Rifles and his brother who was Captain at the time of Kargil war, is now a Colonel in the Indian Army. The family, last spoke to him over telephone on June 21, 1999 which was his birthday. A week later, they got a call that he breathed his last on June 28, 1999. He was awarded the second highest Indian militray honour, the Maha Vir Chakra posthumously on Aug 15, 1999.
His daughter Aparajita, who is a law student, recently unveiled a coffee table book on the 50th birth anniversary of her father in Hyderabad. The movie LOC Kargil chronicled this Dras hero’s achievement, where actor Nagarjuna essayed his role.
Story source: The Quint