To honour Kirti Chakra winner, family holds blood donation camp

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A city family abides by the principle that to remember a dear one, something positive should be done to perpetuate their memory. To ensure that Colonel Gurbir Singh Sarna's ultimate sacrifice is not forgotten, his family holds a blood donation camp in the city every December.

Colonel Sarna (40) went down fighting while taking on three militants at Baramulla in Jammu and Kashmir. "On December 23, 2006, he was leading an operation of the Rashtriya Rifles regiment in Baramulla. He was handling three militants at a time when one of them shot six bullets at him but he kept on fighting. While he killed one, the other two fled. He had bullets all over his body and died on the way to the base hospital in Srinagar," says Manmeet Sodhia, Sarna's sister-in-law, who organises the camp, in his memory, every year. For his heroic actions on that day, Colonel Sarna posthumously received the Kirti Chakra in 2007.

And his family gathers every year for the event. His sister arrives from the US while the martyr's younger brother is an Army man. "Normally commanders do not lead such operations but my son did. Right from childhood, he always wanted to be in the Army. I am proud of him and his sacrifice for the nation," says Didar Singh Sarna, his father, who lives in Delhi.

Sarna has left behind a eleven-year-old son (who was four then) while his wife Jasleen Sarna, who collected his award, works at the Guru Nanak International School in Ludhiana.

On Saturday, at the Shaheed Colonel Gurbir Singh Sarna Memorial blood donation camp, 60 units of blood were collected. "Blood bank authorities told us that around this time, there are a lesser number of operations, so we only collected the required number to reduce wastage," says Sodhia.

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