A day before Lt Gen Dalbir Singh will take over as 26th army chief, away from limelight his elderly parents are spending a quiet and contended life at their native place, Bishan village in this district. They are, however, elated that their eldest son has been chosen for the top post.
Bishan is one among many villages in Jhajjar district where every second house has at least one member in the army.
Insisting that the media should highlight the village development issues, the couple said despite requests and several reminders, the village lacks basic amenities like regular supply of water and a cemented road. Power outages are commonplace and village pond should be cementing, they said.
Well acquainted with the army life, Ramphal (84), father of the army chief-designate, who himself got retired as Risaldar Major was hopeful that his son would make the country proud during his stint as the army chief.
Ramphal’s father Kashi Ram and grandfather Mani Ram had also served in army.
On how his son Dalbir Singh got into army, Ramphal said the love for the olive green uniform has been in their blood as his son was the fourth generation member from the family to join army after clearing the National Defence Academy examination.
Elaborating, he said, “My younger son is a Colonel in army, while husbands of my two daughters are also army officers.”
“Dalbir was raised like other village boys and studied in the village government school till Class 4. Later, he got admission in Military School in Chittorgarh, where he studied till senior secondary,” Ishri Devi, mother of the highly-decorated officer, said.
She added that her son always believed in a Spartan lifestyle and he concentrated on sports and academics with equal vigour and sincerity.
On how much time does she spend with her son, Ishri Devi said they spend their time in Delhi and their native village, as their sons and daughters live the national capital.
However, they feel at home only after coming to the native village and to their two-room house, situated in front of an abandoned pond.