Archive for September, 2013

The One and Only Capt Jojo Sengupta passes away – 31 Aug ’13

Posted on September 6, 2013. Filed under: From a Services Career, Indian Thought, Personal Stuff, Personalities, Searching for Success |

This is from his Family –

Capt.JK Sengupta was one of the founding trustees of Vidya Valley School. We will miss him very much.

Our family called him Jojo. His friends from NDA and IMA called him Chotu or Shorty. On the Honour Rolls of NDA and the IMA he is Jayanta Kumar Sengupta.

For us at VidyaValley he was the one who gave us our name. “Call the school Vidya Valley“, he said. And it was perfect. It could not have been better. Through his sightless eyes he saw the place in perfect color – verdant green surrounded by undulating hills on three sides. In his vision he saw the perfect school.

In distant Siliguri he set up the PreranaSchool for very severely handicapped children. He was also the pillar of the North Bengal Council for the Disabled which he founded in 1990. He strove to make all these institutions perfect, just as he had always tried to do with his own life.

Today, 31st Aug 2013, he breathed his last. A fortnight would have made it 48 years to the day when his tank was hit in the 1965 War and he was nearly killed.

Jojo breathed his last after a ten month battle with cancer. It was a hard battle and ugly to see. Till the end his mind remained sharp and alert. We are certain that he is watching over us. We will have to strive for perfection because Jojo will not accept anything else.

Jojo schooled at RIMC – the RashtriyaIndianMilitaryCollege at Dehradun. He excelled in everything – on the playing fields and in the class-rooms. Very specially in swimming. As a young school boy he became a legend.

It was inevitable that he would join the NDA. Of course he excelled and walked away with the Gold Medal of the 22nd course in Dec 1962. On to the IMA at Dehradun. Once again Jojo walked away with the top award.. Already at 21 years Jojo was a rarity. A soldier with intelligence, spirit and ability is born rarely. But more was to come.

Jojo opted to join the 16th Light Cavalry at Ahmednagar. It is the oldest armored regiment of the Indian Army. As a young officer on the Tank Course, he received the Silver Centurion award.

Everyone believed that he was destined to be one of the great Generals of the Army. But fate had other plans. In the 1965 war he lost both eyes. He was just 22 – strong, vibrant and brilliant. For anyone else that would have been the end but for Jojo it was a new beginning.

After four years in hospitals he was back as a civilian – ready to battle life. He proved, once a soldier always a soldier despite the unexpected turn of destiny. He knew that the bigger ‘Battle of Life’ can still be won!

Jojo’s perfect record, his humility and wit, his genuine kindness to everybody, made all who met him his deep admirers. He never lost a friend or made an enemy. No one can quite explain what made him attract most everybody. Probably it was his unsullied and abiding genuineness.

I could go on and on about Jojo.
But let me just say that Capt Jayanta Kumar Sengupta had profound visual impairment resulting in hundred percent disability due to a direct hit on his tank in Sep 1965 n the Indo Pak War. Thus for 48 years out of his life span of 70, he was wholly blind.

A Personal Tribute – from a Rimcollian, a few years his senior and wounded nearby,  who stayed for near nine months in the same hospital and whom Jojo later accompanied when he bought a Standard Herald from Madras and drove to Bangalore, Secunderabad, Ahmednagar, Pune, Bombay, Delhi and then for whose marriage in a dusty, decrepit Punjab village he came to from Calcutta – will follow.

Meanwhile consider. Jojo’s daughter’s husband – an Army Major who stepped over an IED in a counter insurgency operation and lost the vision of both eyes. Can life be more cruel???

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