Sandeep's sacrifice during 26/11 inspires youth

Sandeep's sacrifice during 26/11 inspires youth


Like his hero, National Security Guard (NSG) commando Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan who sacrificed his life while fighting terrorists at the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower hotel in Mumbai on Nov 28, 2008, Raghu too wants to dedicate his life to his country by joining the army.

"Sandeep Unnikrishnan's valour and sacrifice has inspired me a lot. I have decided to join the army and work for my country," Raghu said, with firm conviction.

"Sandeep Unnikrishnan is my hero and I want to follow in his footsteps," smiled the youngster.

Although 25-year-old business processing outsourcing (BPO) employee Prakash Roy, another fan of the 26/11 martyr, has no dream of joining the army, he would like to work for the nation by starting a voluntary organisation.

"I have been inspired by Sandeep Unnikrishnan's life and his sacrifice for the nation. He never thought twice about his life as he fought the terrorists at the Taj hotel. I too want to contribute to nation building by working for education of underprivileged children and will start my own NGO soon," Prakash said.

Sandeep, the 31-year-old Ashoka Chakra award winner, was the only son of retired official of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) K. Unnikrishnan and Dhanalakshmi. Sandeep was brought up in Bangalore. He spent 14 years at the Frank Anthony Public School here before joining the National Defence Academy at Pune in 1995.

His neighbours at ISRO layout in Yelahanka here, where his parents stay, are proud to have a martyr in their neighbourhood but are saddened to lose a young, charming and handsome man like Sandeep.

"I have always seen him smiling and happy. He was a quiet guy. We are all proud of Sandeep but feel sad for the parents who lost their only child so early," said Uma, a neighbour.

In order to continue with the good deeds of Sandeep, his parents have started a trust in their son's memory.

"My son believed in the greater good of the nation; so we've started the charity organisation to continue with his good work even after his death," said Sandeep's father.

"Our organisation is funding the education and livelihoods of persons with disabilities and children grappling with cancer," K. Unnikrishnan said.

Bangaloreans are proud to have a braveheart like Sandeep, and don't want his sacrifice to be forgotten.

"The greatest tribute to Sandeep and all those who died in 26/11  is to work for the progress and prosperity of the nation," said Charles Noronha, vice principal of St. Joseph's Boys' High School.

"We tell children in our school about Sandeep's valour and sacrifice to inspire them," added Noronha.

As many as 166 people were killed when 10 terrorists of the Pakistan-based Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT) went on a killing spree at many places in Mumbai for three days from Nov 26 last year.

The National Security Guard (NSG) finally decimated the Mumbai attackers but lost Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan and commando Gajendra Singh Bisht in the process.

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