Retd Indian Army veteran cycling across the country in a tribute to Soldiers who laid down their lives for Nation since Independence

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Major General Somnath Jha , Source: All India Radio

New Delhi, April 18, 2017: Major General Somnath Jha (Retd), who is cycling across the country in a tribute to the soldiers who laid down their lives for the nation since Independence, reached Delhi Cantonment on the penultimate day of his journey.

Having spent 37 years in service, the 58-year-old third-generation soldier took up the daunting task of paying homage to around 21,000 armed forces personnel by cycling for two minutes for each of them throughout the country.

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“This is my symbolic homage to my brethren who didn’t have the privilege of retiring as I did since they made the supreme sacrifice before that,” Jha said.

Accompanied by his wife Chitra, Jha hit the road 18 days after he retired on October 19 last year starting his journey from Ambala Cantonment (from where he retired), and has cycled for 42,000 minutes across 29 states over a period of seven months.

He paid homage to every war memorial on his way and would conclude his homage journey at the Amar Jawan Jyoti here on Wednesday.

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During the journey, his day would start early in the morning as he would cycle till he hit his day’s target, which could be anything between 70 to 150 km taking minimal breaks in between, a Defence Ministry statement said.

Commissioned in the 11th Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry, Jha scaled Mt. Kilimanjaro at the age of 54 and learned paragliding at the age of 56. (IANS)