Life is a Gift: Galwan Martyr Ganesh Hansda’s Message for Friends

The 22-year-old was one of the 20 army men martyred in the clash with Chinese troops on 15 June.

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Video Editing, Graphics & Animation: Kunal Mehra
Video Producer: Zijah Sherwani
Reporter: Mohd Sartaj Alam

“I will call you as soon as I get my phone back.”

Late Sepoy Ganesh Hansda had assured his friend he would call him upon his return from the Galwan Valley. The last call he made was on 5 May, at around 7:40 pm.

The 22-year-old was one of the 20 army men martyred in the clash with Chinese troops on 15 June.

In the last call between the two, Hansda had told his friend that he had been posted 14,000 feet above sea level in Ladakh and was not allowed to carry his phone to the camp. His loved ones are now left with his WhatsApp texts to remember him with.

Life is a Gift: Galwan Martyr Ganesh Hansda’s Message for Friends
(Photo: Accessed by The Quint)

Mundane phone conversations, as short as they may be, keep Ganesh’s memory alive.

  • Late Sepoy Ganesh Hansda’s conversation with a friend.
  • Late Sepoy Ganesh Hansda’s conversation with a friend.
“It was sometime in the afternoon, we were working in the field. We could only speak for a minute. He only said that, ‘Brother I am fine. There is no problem. You all stay happy. Don’t take tension if I don’t call. And tell the parents also that I am good.’ This was our last conversation.”
Dinesh Hansda, Brother of martyr Sepoy Ganesh Hansda

Born in a farming family in Jharkhand’s Kosaphalia village, the late sepoy had humble roots. His elder brother had to give up his education as the family couldn't afford to send both the sons to school.

Hopes were pinned on Ganesh after he joined the Army in September 2018 as the family hoped their struggles would come to an end. In July 2019, after completing training from Danapur in Bihar, he got posted in Ladakh.

“I have two sons and among the two, we provided for education for the younger one. He got his job after facing hardships and now he is no more, it upsets me a lot. My son Ganesh is no more. We are heartbroken but what else can we do? We are only left with his memories.”
Kapra Hansda, Mother

The one they were dependent on was martyred. Now, the family questions how it is going to survive and earn a living.

‘Think of Him Everyday’

Regardless of the dire circumstances he had to face as a soldier, Ganesh remained optimistic and often told his friends to stay happy as ‘life is a precious gift.’ Rahul, a childhood friend of the martyr, echoes the sentiment.

“I spoke to him one, one-and-a-half months ago when he was posted at the Galwan Valley. He said, ‘If the army was also like a game like PubG, then if anything would happen to a friend, we could have revived him and brought him back’.”

Ganesh had last met his friends and family in January. His family has only one wish – to never forget his service to the nation.

Life is a Gift: Galwan Martyr Ganesh Hansda’s Message for Friends
(Ilustration: Aroop Mishra\The Quint)

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