Someone somewhere is a series of write ups on brave hearts who made the supreme sacrifice but little is known about these men. It is a humble attempt to bring to fore the many unsung heroes of Indian Armed Forces.
My previous articles in the same series have been on Sepoy Vikas Bhardway, Capt Shailesh Rialch and Capt Raja Reddy.
This piece is about an engineer from BITS Pilani Capt K Ravi Shankar who gave it all up for a higher calling.
Engineering was not for him; he had a higher calling.
This is probably the reason why Ravi who secured admission in BITS Pilani in 1986, on his own, chose to join Army.
Capt Ravi Shankar was born on 15th January 1969 in Thanjavur. His father Mr R Krishnamurthi was an employee of Neyveli Lignite Corporation.
As a young boy, Ravi did his schooling from St Joseph Cluny and Jawahar Higher Secondary School.
He was an avid reader and was very fond of birds and animals and children.
After successfully clearing his HSC exams, without any additional coaching, he also successfully got through the highly competitive BITS admission process. This speaks volumes of what a bright youngster he was.
In 1990, he completed his civil engineering from BITS and secured an internship in Mumbai.
His fellow BITSian Suresh recalls him as a very chirpy and easy going guy yet one who was extremely caring. Another BITSian Vijaysarathi recalls how he had learnt a lot of things from Ravi, since Ravi was his next door neighbor in Neyveli. According to him, Ravi was very sharp, highly innovative and had varied interests. It came as no surprise that Ravi had made it to BITS effortlessly. He had the capability to make a positive difference to people around, from an early age.
After a year of internship, he joined Indian Military Academy. In 1993, after successful completion of his training, he was commissioned into 118 Engineer Regiment in the Corps of Engineers.
In 1997, he was deputed to 20 Rashtriya Rifles. On 6th December, while fighting terrorists in J and K, unmindful of his safety, he braved the gunfire to save the lives of his comrades and thereby made supreme sacrifice.
At the age of 27, with just 4 years of service Capt Ravi Shankar immortalized himself.
His batch mates from BITS continue to do very well professionally and Capt Ravi too could have chosen to do so, but he chose his calling and gave his all for our tomorrow, without a second thought about his parents and his three sisters.
Such is the cost of our freedom. Someone somewhere guards our borders on icy heights, someone somewhere spends sleepless nights so that we sleep peacefully and someone somewhere came back wrapped in the Tricolour.
Let us remember those who never came back and keep them in our thoughts always.
Credits : Mrs. Chitra Shankar for all the above pictures and Mr Harsha Bhargava, for the above information.