New Delhi: Retired Marine Commando Praveen Teotia, who was honoured with gallantry, sold his medals to donate Rs 2 lakh to the PM Cares Fund. He handed over the demand draft of Rs 2 lakh to Delhi BJP President Adesh Gupta in presence of the Leader of Opposition Ramvir Singh Bidhuri and State Vice President Smt Yogita Singh.

Teotia, also known as Iron Man, had saved 150 lives during the 26th November 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai, during which he was also hit by four bullets which damaged his limbs and lungs.

Adesh Gupta said that 26/11 was a tragic incident, in which our brave commandos of the country thwarted the nefarious plans of the terrorists regardless of their lives. Teotia saved the lives of the people by putting his life at stake. His love for the country can’t be expressed in words. He sold all his medals and is depositing money in the PM Cares Fund in the interest of the nation fighting the corona pandemic. ‘‘I express my heartfelt gratitude to our brave soldiers of the country. Taking inspiration from this, other people will also be inspired to do so,’’ Gupta said.

Teotia said, ‘‘I am influenced by the thoughts and actions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji as he is the real warrior who is fighting to save the lives of 130 crore people of the country from this corona pandemic. We should all support him in every possible way. In this hour of crisis, we should provide financial help in our limited capacity for the country.’’

Teotia joined the Indian Navy in July 2002 when he was just 18 years old. On November 26, 2008, he, along with 29 marines from his unit, was sent to carry out a rescue operation at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. Teotia was hit in the chest and on the left side of his face, damaging the right lung and an ear.

In 2017, he opted for voluntary retirement since working for the Navy wouldn’t let him take the leave he needed to train for and participate in marathons. Since then, Teotia has participated in gruelling challenges, like the Khardung La Challenge (the highest ultra-marathon in the world) and won the Ironman title at the 2018 Triathlon Championships in South Africa. Though he does not wear the naval uniform anymore, he says he is still serving the country.