India celebrated it's 72nd Independence Day on Wednesday, and on this special occasion, Republic TV decided to felicitate and honor country's shining lights through its special show - Heroes of India.
One of those who featured in the series was CRPF jawan, Bhogade Ramdas. The CoBRA jawan had lost both his legs in an explosion on 29 November, 2017. But the soldier did not give up, and within three months, rejoined duty. Speaking exclusively to Republic TV, Ramdas recalled the explosion.
"First I want to tell you, when I left for the operation, at around 9 pm, so we get a target, where the naxalites are there. To kill them was our target. Our motto is to go and fight, and to win," he said.
"So on 29 November, 9 pm, we left for the operation. It was a search operation. While returning, around 2.5kms away from camp, the naxalites had put the trap. It is put inside the ground, and cannot be seen with the naked eye. So I was the leader of the group of 24 people. There are generally 300 jawans. But on that day, my team of 24 was walking away from others. While leading, I had doubt given it was a jungle. So I told the others to stop, and went to check," he added.
Ramdas also narrated the unfortunate turn of events when he lost both his legs. However even at the face of the hostile situation, he didn't lose his grit and courage.
"The moment I went in to check, I realised they had setup a trap. I didn't realise then, because there was grass above it. It was put almost an year back. So, the moment I stepped on it, there was a blast. For at least 15 minutes, I couldn't understand anything. But later, I realized both my legs had gone. Despite that, I didn't faint, and saw everything that happened to my leg," he said.
"After 15 mins, I shouted for help. Two jawans came, given all can't come together. After that the help came, and I was assisted with first-aid. I was taken to camp on a tractor, which was there," he added.
In November 2017, Bhogade was gravely injured after he mistakenly stepped on a landmine in the Maoist-hit area of Padoli jungles in Sukma district in Chattisgarh. He lost both his legs after the doctors were forced to amputate them.
He was one of the 24 jawans patrolling in that area, aiming to catch hold of the naxalites. While the other soldiers managed to escape unhurt, Bhogade was the only unfortunate one to face the brunt of the blast.
But within three months of that incident, the brave soldier returned to duty. He rejoined the 208 Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) in early February. Later in April, a prosthetic pair of legs were fitted to his body.