JAIPUR: A chapter of sacrifice and dedication came to an end with the death of the country's oldest, 103-year-old war widow, Saira Bano. She did not see the face of her husband after marriage, yet dedicated her life to him after his martyrdom.
She passed away in Dhanuri village of Jhunjhunu district which has given the most number of war soldiers to the Indian army.
District Soldier Welfare Officer Parvez Ahmed, Alsisar SDM Dr Amit Yadav arrived to pay homage to her on behalf of the administration.
Although Sair did not go to war, her fight was not less than that of a soldier's.
Saira Bano got married to Taj Mohammad Khan during the second world war in 1939. The procession reached Dhanuri village on the day of Nikah. But Taj had to immediately go on duty which he never returned from.
After 6 years of waiting, she came to know that he was martyred. Even after this, Saira did not go to her own home. She did not marry because she loved him so much that she wanted to keep his martyrdom alive.
In an interview given a while back, she had said that her husband, Saeed Taj Mohammed, went to fight in World War II and while they were married, her 'gauna' did not happen.
"What did my husband's face look like, I do not know till date, because I had never met him, had not even seen his face. After receiving the news of my husband's death, my family and in-laws asked me to go for a second marriage, but I did not, because I wanted to remain in love with his martyrdom ", she had said.
Dhanuri village of Jhunjhunu is called the land of soldiers as there are soldiers in every household. Saira Bano was the Panch of Dhanuri village for 30 years.
The pension she received from the government was spent on teaching girls. In Dhanuri village, like Saira, there are 17 more bravehearts, whose husbands sacrificed their lives while fighting for the country.
Brigadier Ajit Singh Shekhawat, the General of the Kargil War, had recently visited Dhanuri village in Rajasthan, where he came to know about Saira's story.
When he returned to Surat, he told his unit about her. It was then decided to honour her. In March 2019 Paramveer Shaheed Sahai Trust welcomed her. This was her first honour in Gujarat, with hundreds of people saluting her sacrifice.