In 1999, 6-year-old Ruksana, who lives in the Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir, saw her father being murdered by militants, and out of shock, lost her ability to speak.
In the same year that Ruksana’s father was murdered, Captain Vijayant Thapar, a 22-year old Indian Army officer, was posted in the district.
When Captain Thapar heard about Ruksana’s plight, he began to make daily visits to her school. He would bring along sweets and chocolates and talk to the child. The two slowly formed a bond, and he even took Ruksana to a doctor.
Thanks to the kind efforts of Captain Thapar, Ruksana slowly started recovering from the trauma of her father’s death and started speaking again.
Unfortunately, in June, that year, tragedy struck. The brave Captain Thapar lost his life, in the Battle of Tololing Knoll in Kargil. However, before he had left for his mission, he had written to his family, asking them to take care of Ruksana, in the event of his death. Describing their bond, he requested his family to keep sending her money every month.
74-year-old Colonel Thapar, who is Captain Thapar’s father has kept the relationship alive. Although the Thapars live in Noida, they have honored the wishes of their late son, stayed in touch with Ruksana, and send her money on an annual basis.
In fact, Colonel Thapar had met Ruksana and her mother in 2015 and was happy to see that she was going to school regularly.