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War hero’s mother rejects dole

Even as scams and commissions continue to make headlines, Hema Aziz, mother of Kargil war hero from Delhi, Captain Hanifuddin, turning down the offer of a gas agency or petrol pump from the government comes as a shock. But she has a valid explanation for it.
Mrs Aziz says she could not accept these because she strongly feels that if somebody does not require financial help, he/she should not accept such offers. She, however, clarifies that this is her personal view. If anybody else wants to accept such things, it is okay. ‘I think such benefits should be given to the family members of those soldiers who really need financial help. I know the number of such soldiers families is really huge,’ she said.

Hema Aziz informs that when she was given choice by the government to accept either a gas agency or a petrol pump, she discussed various pros and cons of running such a venture with Hanifs elder brother, Nafisuddin. After long discussions, they decided that as nobody in the family is free to look after such a business, they cannot accept it. Hanif’s elder brother is a teacher and the younger one is still studying.

‘There was tremendous pressure on me from various quarters including Hanif’s regiment 11 Rajputana Rifles to accept the offer. But there was a unanimity among us to turn down the offer’, she said.

Mrs Hema Aziz, who worked for Sangeet Natak Academy and Kathak Kendra for years together, said that like all the soldiers of the Indian Army, Hanifuddin also joined it to serve the nation. He fought bravely against the enemy forces. ‘I am proud of him on this account. The whole nation has virtually adopted him and other soldiers like him. I cannot ask for anything else. I do not believe in the policy of quid pro quo,’ Mrs Aziz said.

Meanwhile, in order to perpetuate the memory of his son, Mrs Aziz and her family has set up a captain Hanidfuddin Memorial Trust. It is managed by Hanifuddin’s elder brother Nafisuddin. He is a trained teacher and used to teach in Delhi’s JD Tytler School. The trust is running a school near Kullu.

According to Mrs Aziz, around 50 students are currently studying there and the number would swell, as the local people need good schools for their kids. ‘I think this is the best tribute to Hanidfuddin,’ she said.

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