Amidst the nation-wide lockdown, parents of a gallantry award-winning officer had to travel over 2000 km by road to attend the funeral of their son, Col NS Bal, who lost his battle to cancer. Bal was a Shaurya Chakra awardee and even ran marathons despite battling cancer, died last week at the hospital, all while managing the affairs of his unit from the hospital bed.
The late officer’s brother, Navtez Singh Bal, tweeted, “Quick update. Now 650 km away from Bangalore. Massive support and help from the Forces and Police. Everyone at the frontline is doing a fantastic job in managing the spread of the virus,” Navtez Singh Bal tweeted last week.
In a tweet, former Army chief Gen (Retd) VP Malik, replying to a post by Bal’s brother, wrote, “Deepest condolences! Have a safe journey. Sad GOI did not help. Rules are never written on stone. They are modified or changed in special circumstances.” Bal was diagnosed with a very rare, high-grade osteosarcoma (aggressive cancer) in June 2018, despite which he continued to command his unit and oversee the day-to-day operations.And in a staggering display of devil-may-care fortitude, he even participared in a 21 km half marathon despite the amputation of his right arm and the cancer impeding his normal breathing.