October 28, Kupwara: Relations are not only by blood but by heart too. That is how one can sum up the story of a young Army officer, whose chance meeting with a 14-year-old deaf and dumb boy gave him a relationship of lifetime.

Major Kamlesh Mani from 21 RR (Rashtriya Rifles) met Master Gawhar Mir during a medical camp organised by the Army and the District Hospital Handwara on October 17. The officer noticed the boy and inquired about his treatment from his parents.

It was during his interaction with the family, when the boy conveyed through sign language that he wanted to become like him. Danish Bhatt, a local journalist, who was present during the medical camp said that he was moved by the officer’s gesture, who took interest in Gawhar’s case and expressed his desire to adopt him.

Danish said that on being asked from the boy about his aspirations, Gawhar pointed towards Maj Kamlesh and expressed, “I want to become like him”. The officer has adopted the boy. He got him enrolled in class 9th at Higher Secondary School, Zachaldor while his teaching will be done in DEIC (District Early Intervention Center) Handwara. 

The officer sought permission from the family members to get the boy treated outside Kashmir, if required and assured to bear the expenses. Gawhar’s family readily agreed and thanked him for such a gesture. “We have no words to thank Maj Kamlesh, who met us like a God sent messenger. More than us, my son feels happy in his company. For us, it is an emotional bond and nothing short of almighty’s miracle”, they said.

Gawhar’s family shared that Maj Kamlesh has made all the necessary arrangements including his schooling, books, uniforms, admission fees and other needs. The officer will also be taking care of his medical treatment. Though the boy is 70 percent disabled, the officer is getting help from District Hospital, Handwara for initial check-up.

Danish Bhatt said that even the doctors shared that Gawhar is a brilliant boy but was lacking in quality medical care, which could change his life. “Gawhar’s story has made everybody happy in Handwara, as the boy is known for his good academic record”, he said.

Notably, Maj Kamlesh Mani is an alumnus of NDA, Khadakwasla. An officer from the Brigade of Guards, he was awarded the President’s Gold Medal in IMA, Dehradun for being first in overall order of merit in 2013. As a gesture of respect, Maj Kamlesh presented his medal to his school- Military School, Bangalore. At present the officer is serving in an RR unit in Counter Insurgency environment in North Kashmir.

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