Mukesh Shrimali lives in a bare square that he calls home in Bapunagar area. The auto rickshaw driver ekes out a living ferrying rides in his hard-earned three-wheeler. But he never gave up the dream of a better life for his son.
Hemal was bred on the ambition of becoming an Army officer. As luck would have it, during a school event, a chance meeting with father of the slain Major Ramani, was the first step towards realizing the dream. Seeing the young lad’s interest in Army and noting his exceptional academic performance, Vallabh Ramani, the father of martyr Major Rishikesh Ramani, guided him to the Army School test. Hemal passed the exam and thereon, also appeared for the National Defense Academy exams in 2021.
As they say, the rest is history. Today, Hemal is a proud enrollee at the NDA in Khadakwasla, Pune, Maharashtra.
Speaking to Vibes of India, Hemal’s father shared: “Seeing my children studying hard was the fuel for me to work harder. I have worked day and night for their education. Seasonal fever or seasons changing never came in the way. And today, Hemal has made us proud.”
Hemal’s mother added that her son was ecstatic when leaving for NDA. “And why not? It is a matter of prestige to get into NDA,” as she puts it, adding that she is proud to have brought to life a valiant soldier.
When contacted, Ramani noted that Hemal proved his mettle. “When he was younger, he was one of several pupils we always praised for academic achievements. He stayed in touch and visited our office even after he enrolled in Army school. This office still has Rishikesh’s uniform. We have no doubt that Hemal will prove to be a brave, genuine and patriotic soldier,” he stated.