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Mother Courage: The fight for justice | Special show


Geetika Pokhriyal,CNN-IBN
May 29, 2008 at 02:46am IST

On a day when Neelam Katara won a six-year-long battle against the murderers of her son Nitish Katara, we bring you stories of mothers who have overcome the trauma of losing their children and fought for justice.

Three mothers from different walks of life are today bound together by the death of a child and a long and lonely fight to get justice.

Kavita Gadgil is one such mother. Her 27-yr-old son Flight Lieutenant Abhijit Gadgil died in a MIG-21 crash near Rajasthan in 2001. Abhijit was blamed by the Defence Ministry, which cited pilot error as the cause of the crash. A heart-broken Kavita then launched a one-woman movement to improve safety standards in MIG 21s.

In 2002, the Abhijit Air Safety Foundation was set up as a memorial for her son.

“The memorial is an inspiration for all those who want to fly and achieve victory,” says Kavita.

Priyamvada Devi Jha is another brave mother who has fought a lonely battle. Her son Shahsinath Jha, who was the private secretary to Jharkhand Mukti Morcha chief Shibu Soren, was murdered by Soren and four others in 1994.

Priyamvada did the rounds of the courts for 12 years and secured Soren's conviction in 2006.

“My son's gone. What else can I lose? Anyone else would have done the same thing,” says Priyamvada.

Neelam Krishnamurthy’s children - 17-year-old Unnati and 13-year-old Ujjawal - were among the 59 people who lost their lives in a fire at Delhi's Uphaar cinema in 1997.

Neelam fought on and ensured the conviction of all the 12 accused in the case. Today, after her decade-long court battle Neelam has made it a mission to make Delhi buildings fire safe.

“People had died because of the smoke. But why? Because a means of escape was not available,” says Neelam.

Kavita Gadgil, Priyamvada Jha and Neelam Krishnamurthy represent the iron will of the mother who doesn't succumb to grief, instead she moves the wheels of justice and makes sure that their loved one can finally rest in peace.

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