Above everything else, tales of his unflinching grit and fortitude keep him alive, making him an inspiration for all!
"If everyone fears for their grandchildren, then who will serve on the borders", said a young Pratik in his early twenties when his grandmother stopped him from joining the Indian Army. Some years later, Shaheed Major Pratik Mishra returned to his hometown Lucknow, wrapped in a tricolour, setting unattainable standards of selfless service for his motherland. Almost 16 years after his martyrdom, stories of his valour, courage and altruism reverberate across the city and will continue to do so for eternity!
Innately motivated to serve the nation since a young age!
In a short conversation with Knocksense, his mother, Smt. Reshma Mishra, recounts the trail of his aspirations from early childhood. She says that Pratik was innately motivated to join the Indian Army. As a young kid, he would dress up in the army uniform and always take pride in it. Despite having no family member in the Indian Army, his will to serve the nation was visible from a very young age.
An ardent lover of cricket, Pratik quickly became a favourite of his fellow mates, as he grew up in the locales of Indira Nagar. Passing class 10th examinations from Seth M.R. Jaipuria, he completed his class 12th from Colvin Taluqdars' College, one of the oldest institutions in the city. Thereafter, he went to Christian College and it was during these days, that his journey towards national service began. In spite of facing some hurdles during the selection process, he cleared all tests in the first attempt and quickly climbed up ranks, post-commissioning into the 7th Dogra Regiment.
Prioritising the safety of his fellow officers over his own life!
During his stint at the India Army, he voluntarily opted for high-risk roles. Fate took an ugly turn when he was posted in Uri, Jammu and Kashmir, in 2005. When an earthquake struck, with its epicentre in Pakistan, his bunker got affected by it. Though he was safe initially, he jumped forward to help his fellow soldiers who were stuck inside it.
Not caring about his own life, he went inside the bunker to rescue his fellow officers. While he saved a number of lives, the bunker collapsed due to aftershocks and Maj. Pratik laid his life for the service of the nation. Exceptional in all ways, the story of his sacrifice cannot be fathomed within the scope of words.
An eternal inspiration for all!
Today, his legacy resonates through the environs of Indira Nagar in Lucknow. Commemorating his sacrifice, a park has been dedicated to his name and regular functions are marked on his birth and death anniversaries.
Besides, 3 scholarships worth ₹10,000 are awarded in the martyr's name every year by BBDU while his alma mater Colvin Taluqdars' remembers his sacrifice with an annual trophy. Above everything else, the tales of his unflinching grit and fortitude keep him alive, making him inspiration for all!
While Shaheed Major Pratik Mishra lives on in our hearts, the legacy of his sacrifices can only be preserved when we cultivate a culture of love for the nation. Irrespective of our chosen field of endeavours, we can all contribute to the nation's progress by ensuring excellence in our jobs!