Vansh Salotra, 10-year-old son of Havildar Ravi Paul Salotra, is aware that his father was martyred in Uri terror attack . But that has only strengthened his resolve to don the olive greens to serve the nation and avenge the killing.
Havildar Ravi Paul of 10 Dogra Regiment was among the men who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty.He had served the army for 23 years.
Besides Vansh, 42-year-old Ravi Paul is survived by wife Geeta Rani and another son Sudansheesh (7) and his 80-year-old mother.
“My father used to call early in the morning. Yesterday he called us and we spoke in length on various issues. He asked me to concentrate on my studies so that I could fulfil his dream of me becoming a doctor in the Indian Army,” said Vansh, a Class 6 student.
When asked whether he was aware of what happened to his father, Vansh, carrying two plastic tricolours, said his father laid down his life for the sanctity of the national flag.
“Yes I know that my father laid down his life for this tricolour and I will fulfill his dream of becoming a doctor in the Army so as to avenge the killing of my father,” he said.
Ravi Paul’s two brothers had served in the Army too.
In this sleepy Sarwa village of over 120 families, many have served the Indian Army at various points in their lives.
“Majority of the people in our village are either serving in the Army or have served at one stage of their life. Out of six brothers, my three brothers were in Army and Ravi Paul was the youngest to join the Army,” said Joginder Lal Salotra, elder brother of Ravi Paul.
Joginder Lal said Ravi Paul was a jovial, friendly person and used to get along with everyone in the village.
“Whenever he used to come on leave, people used to meet him as he always narrated the stories about his tenure in the army,” Lal said.
Mohan Lal Salotra, another brother said, he has not only lost a younger brother but a friend.
“I also served in the Army and after retirement I joined Defence Security Corps (DSE) and I am currently posted in Ludhiana. Though I was elder to Ravi, we were like good friends who used to talk each other daily.
“September 17 was the last time we spoke and yesterday when I tried to call him, the line could not go through. Later in the afternoon, somebody called me to inform that my brother has made the supreme sacrifice for the nation,” Mohan Lal said.
He said his brother wanted both his sons to become doctors and join the Indian Army to serve the nation, “Now it is our duty to make sure that the dream of our brother is fulfilled”.