Jitendra Gujar is a security guard who wanted to make a difference. He uses his words to comfort the grieving families of the martyrs. He has written 4000 letters ever since he began writing them during the Kargil War in 1999. In an Independence Day special show, titled 'Heroes of India' on Republic TV, that celebrates the unsung heroes of the nation who have overcome hardships, struggle and the harshest of adversities to ensure that the spirit of India burns on, Gurjar spoke about why he writes these letters and what is the response he gets and what keeps him going.
When asked why he started writing letters, he said, “I was in Rajasthan during the Kargil war and around 13 to 14 soldiers around me were martyred. I would go for their last rites and still remember everything." A martyr’s father once told Jitendra, 'what if I lost my son, the country is still safe'. "This line invoked the patriot in me. And since then have been collecting information about the soldiers. I have information about 41000 soldiers," said Jitendra.
Gurjar works as a security guard in a college in Surat and said that he started writing letters at a time when postcards were sold at 15 paise and now they cost 50 paise. Remembering the incident, Jitendra said, "When the students there got to know about me, they collected Rs 50,000 worth postcards from Gandhinagar post office. Postcards were not easily available and so the college kids went all the way to Gandhinagar to fetch postcards." The guard feels that it is because of these kids that he is still able to write the letters.
When asked whether he ever receives replies to these letters that he sends the families of the martyrs, he said that the brother of a martyr who lost his life in 1971 once replied back and said that he is very happy that a common citizen has written a letter to a soldier. Gurjar asked the brother if he could see the photo of the soldier, but he replied that they only have a stone kept in their field in his memory, as in those days they never thought about getting a picture clicked.
Narrating another instance, Gurjar said that he regularly talks to an old man, whose son was martyred in 2012. "When I asked the man how he felt talking to me, he said that he feels like he is talking to his son, Bhupender. This is where I get all the positivity from to keep going,” he said.
A captain from Kerala, with whom he regularly writes letters to, had once said that no one even from Trivandrum asks about his martyred son, but 19 years later, a common citizen does. Jitendra Gurjar talks to around 980 people regularly on phone and has information about 41,000 soldiers right from 1914.