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Dy Collector’s Dedication To Duty Despite Personal Loss Earns Praise From CEO

| Updated: May 7, 2024 11:54

Days after the death of his wife Pragya Balasara due to cancer on April 27, deputy collector Vivek Tank was back at work.

He cast his vote through postal ballot and is busy working out the finer details as Gujarat votes on Tuesday.

He could have easily handed over his charge of deputy district election officer (dy DEO) to any other government officer of his rank in Vadodara. But Tank chose duty.

Chief electoral officer (CEO) of Gujarat, P Bharathi hailed Vivek as a “dedicated soldier” of the Election Commission of India (ECI).

“This is an excellent example of the dedication of an officer connected with election management. A class-1 officer, who lost his wife to cancer, resumed his duty on the third day of the death of his wife and voted through postal ballot. Hats off to you Vivek Tank, deputy collector, Vadodara. The soul of your wife will be watching this and will feel proud of your dedication towards duty,” the CEO wrote on ‘X’ with hashtag election soldiers.

The 33-year-old officer said the process and preparations for elections begin before six months. “Passing on my responsibilities to another person at this crucial stage would be like leaving a battle midway,” he said.

Vivek, a native of Junagadh, recollects how Pragya, who was five years older than him, continued to battle cancer with a strong will. Vivek and Pragya came to know each other while preparing for the Gujarat Public Service Commission (GPSC) examinations in Ahmedabad. After five years of courtship, they tied the knot in 2018.

But in June 2022, Pragya was diagnosed with cancer. “I was then posted at Navsari, later transferred as SDM Rajkot, and for the last six months, I am posted in Vadodara. My wife underwent 10 chemotherapy sessions, five radiation sessions, and two microsurgeries for colon cancer. But she was the strongest woman that I have seen in my life,” Vivek said.

“In Jan last year, doctors at Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, had even told us that she had just three months to live. But without being psychologically disturbed or undergoing depression, she continued managing our house. She never feared death and accepted it as god’s will,” he said, calling her “beacon of hope”.

After his wife passed away on April 27, Vivek and his family travelled to their native Junagadh and cremated her at Gondal. “Since it was a new journey for her, I wanted her funeral to be carried out at Gondal where my spiritual guru resides,” said Vivek.

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