Jhunjhunu: A common thread binds Sayera Bano, Hasan Bano, Anwar Bano, Mumtaj Bano and Alhamdo Bano, of Jhunjhunu’s Dhanori village. They are all war widows. This village in Rajasthan, has given Indian army, soldiers who have given their lives to serve the interest of the nation right from the First and Second World Wars to Sino-India war to Indo-Pak war and the Kargil war. Name a war, and the village will have a martyr for it, and the war widows.
Sayera’s husband, Azimuddin Khan had been martyred in World War II, Hasan and Anwar had lost their husband Saifi Muhammad and Nizamuddin Khan in 1962, Indo-China war. Mumtaz’s husband Zafar Ali Khan had martyred in 1971 and Alhamdo’s husband Ramzan Khan gave his life, while protecting the Indian soil during the Kargil war. However, the widows of World War I from the village are no longer alive, but there were six army men from Dhanori had attained martyrdom, in the war.
A total seventeen soldiers hailing from Dhanori, have attained martyrdom for the country. At present, more than 550 from the village are serving the Indian Army, while many are enjoying their post retirement life back in their hamlet. There is not a single house in the village, from where a family member has not served the army.
“I have fought against Pakistan during the Indp-Pak war of 1971,” said retired Captain, Ali Hassan to eNewsroom. The war was not easy for our village, as we lost three of our sons, during this war. The village has also a Veer Chakra recipient. “Major MH Khan was from our village, I was under him. He was martyred in the war, later awarded the Veer Chakra,” recalled the retired captain.
MH Khan, whose father was an IAS officer, is the only army man from the village, to have made it to the rank of a Major in the Indian army. He, back then had pursued his education in Hyderabad.
Ali Hassan’s family has been protecting the Indian borders, fighting wars for safety of the nation for four generations now. Hassan takes immense pride in this and said with an air, “My grandfather and father were in the Indian army, so, I too joined it and now my son is serving our nation.”
Dhanori, is only 15 kilometers away from Jhunjhunu, and has a population of over 10000, of which a little over 70 percent comprises Muslims. They are mostly, Kayamkhani Muslims and have played a vital role in motivating people from every community to send at least one of their sons to serve the nation.
“We guided our friends from other community to join the Indian army,” Perwez Khan, who just retired after serving 17 years. He was youngest to be recruited from the village to Indian Army. He started serving the nation at a tender age of 16 only.
Despite, Dhanori sending so many men to fight for the nation, the government seems to be a little hesitant in acknowledging its contribution towards safeguarding India. “Dhanori has no senior secondary school. The Primary Health Center (PHC) shuts down soon after 4pm; there is no full-fledged hospital here. The roads are also not good. We also need a bank and an ATM,” rued Perwez.
“We also do not understand, why our village has not been adopted by any MP, since there will be no such place in India from where so many people have attained martyrdom,” said Alhamdo, the widow of Kargil war.