For every parent, losing a child is unbearable. But when the child that has gone was the only child then the pain becomes heavier and life meaningless. But no one has the choice of going away with the loved one and life has to go on, even without the beloved child.

Anuj Rajput too was the only son of his parents Smt. Usha and Shri Kulbansh Singh. He was born on 18th September’ 93. Their family hailed from Dobhi, Hisar, Haryana but later on shifted to Panchkula.

Anuj did his schooling from Little Flower Convent school, Panckula and from St. John’s High school. Anuj was an all rounder and won several awards in Academics, sports as well as co-curricular activities. Although his family never had any connection with the Armed Forces, his father recalls that right from childhood, whenever he would pose for a photo and his father would say ‘Ready’, Anuj would immediately salute; a testimony to the fact that he always wanted to don the uniform and serve the Nation.

The beginning

After completing his class 12, Anuj attempted the entrance examinations for admission into National Defence Academy and passed it with flying colours in the first attempt itself. He scored an All India Rank 39. His journey towards donning the uniform began on 21st June 2011, when he joined NDA. After successful completion of training in NDA and subsequently Indian Military Academy, he was commissioned into the Regiment of Artillery on 13th June 2015.

A long cherished dream

Soon after, he completed the Commando Course, with an ‘A’ grading. Thereafter, he joined Army Aviation Corps in Dec 2019  and got trained as a Helicopter pilot. He completed the training with Best Overall Trainee officer and First in Ground Subjects at Rotary Wing Academy, HAL Bangalore. It was his long-cherished dream to become a Helicopter pilot, which he fulfilled.

His list of achievements in his short career of six years include winning trophies of Silver Cheetah, First in order of Merit and First in Flying at Combat Army Aviation Training School, Nasik, Maharashtra.

Life as a Helicopter pilot

After successful completion of training, he was posted in Udhampur, Jammu and Kashmir as an Army Aviation Pilot since 15th December, 2019. In due course of time, on 14th June 2021, he was promoted to the rank of Major.

Subsequently, in Sept’21 he was moved to 9 (Independent) Recce and Observations Flight at Udhampur, J and K. On the fateful day on 21st Sep’21, Maj Rohit Kumar and Maj. Anuj Rajput were on an operational mission and both took off in their Cheetah Helicopter. As they reached Shiv Garh village, Patnitop area, their chopper encountered an emergency situation. Following this, the pilots had to take the decision of a forced landing in an area which was heavily wooded. Fog and bad weather added to the woes of these pilots and despite their best efforts, the helicopter crashed, leaving the pilots grievously injured. They were both immediately evacuated to the military hospital for treatment. But they eventually succumbed to their injuries.

Maj. Anuj was engaged in July’21. At the young age of 28, he made the supreme sacrifice in the line of his duty, leaving his parents and soulmate alone, to carry forward his legacy. One cannot even imagine what these parents maybe dealing with, after the loss of their only son, their sole reason for living or even his fiancée, who lost the love of her life.

Such is the cost of our freedom. Someone somewhere guards our borders on icy heights, someone somewhere spends sleepless nights so that we sleep peacefully and someone somewhere came back wrapped in the Tricolour.

Let us remember those who never came back and keep them in our thoughts always.

Jai Hind!

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