Though devastated by the news, Charulatha Acharya did not give in to her grief because she had the baby to think of.
Hyderabad: Charulatha Acharya was six months pregnant when she received a call from an Indian Army spokesperson during the Kargil war of 1999, telling her that her husband, Major Padmapani Acharya, Company Commander of the 2nd Rajputana Rifles, had been killed in action. He was 31 years old. Though devastated by the news, Charulatha Acharya did not give in to her grief because she had the baby to think of.
Nineteen years later, that same baby, Aparajita, has written a coffee table book on her father, imagining him through the stories narrated by her mother.
Deccan Chronicle spoke to some of the women who fought their own battles after losing their spouses in the defence of the country. “To all women readers of Deccan Chronicle, Happy Women’s Day,” said Charulata Acharya.
“Being a Veer Patni is not a bed of roses. The lady who marries a soldier has to be prepared to face the worst. Padmapani Acharya’s death brought me to the end of my life, but I did not let it hit me more as I was pregnant then. I celebrated my daughter’s birth without my husband and brought her up as a single parent narrating stories of her brave father.”
“My message to all the ladies who lost their husbands is, be strong. Educa-tion is an asset, especially for women, to be strong and independent. Or at least learn a skill and be independent financially,” she said