In­dian Oper­a­tionO Army’s Madad ‘Madad’ – to Ker­ala

True to its tra­di­tion of ser­vice be­fore self, In­dian Army dur­ing the Ker­ala floods, self­lessly pro­vided the much needed re­lief

SP's LandForces - - FRONT PAGE - Ro­hit Sri­vas­tava

True to its tra­di­tion of ser­vice be­fore self, In­dian Army dur­ing the Ker­ala floods, self­lessly pro­vided the much needed re­lief

WHEN THE DISAS­TER STRUCK the God own Coun­try Ker­ala in the se­cond week of Au­gust, the state gov­ern­ment, in this mo­ment of dis­tress and disas­ter, called the Cen­tre for help. Re­spond­ing to the call, Gov­ern­ment of In­dia sent out armed forces and Na­tional Disas­ter Re­sponse Force (NDRF) to help the state ma­chin­ery. Go­ing be­yond their call of duty and risk­ing their life and stretch­ing the equip­ment to their op­er­a­tional lim­its, work­ing round the clock ig­nor­ing ex­haus­tion, In­dian men and women in uni­form per­formed as if they were god sent saviour of Ker­ala, win­ning heart of all and sundry along the way.

In the flood where Ker­ala lost around 450 peo­ple, In­dian Army en­tered into the re­lief work on Au­gust 9, the very same day when it re­ceived the re­quest for as­sis­tance. It all be­gan on Au­gust 8, when many parts of the state re­ceived over 1,000 mm of rain which forced the au­thor­i­ties to open flood­gates of over 30 dams in the state. The mas­sive flow of wa­ter in the rivers cou­pled with the mas­sive down­pour led to rivers break­ing their banks and rav­aging ev­ery­thing which came in its way. Noth­ing could stop rivers on the ram­page. Such was the flow of wa­ter even small rivulet be­came har­bin­gers of death and de­struc­tion.

Army men were seen res­cu­ing stranded peo­ple through boats, car­ry­ing sick, in­jured and old on stretch­ers in deep wa­ters and when not res­cu­ing were seen help­ing state au­thor­i­ties restor­ing es­sen­tial ser­vices. In the kind of flood that the state is wit­ness­ing hos­pi­tals them­selves be­come a vic­tim, in­stead of giv­ing re­lief, it be­comes the fo­cus of re­lief op­er­a­tion as they host peo­ple who needs most sup­port. In one such in­ci­dence, on Au­gust 21, Cap­tain Rishav Jamwal of 13 Garhwal Ri­fles res­cued a crit­i­cal kid­ney pa­tient and a 20 day old baby from Sree Narayan hos­pi­tal, Er­naku­lam. Th­ese are not just one off acts but just few ex­am­ple of many such acts.

On Septem­ber 21, En­gi­neer Task Force from Col­lege of Mil­i­tary En­gi­neer­ing led by Ma­jor Rav­is­hankar re­paired Wa­ter Treat­ment Plant Aluva which en­abled restora­tion of wa­ter sup­ply to al­most 3,00,000 cit­i­zens. In­dian Army also re­stored con­nec­tiv­ity through tem­po­rary bridges. It has made 13 tem­po­rary bridges to re­con­nect 38 re­mote ar­eas. Army de­ployed 10 floods re­lief col­umns, each hav­ing an ap­prox­i­mate strength of 65 per­son­nels, in ten districts of Ker­ala.

Sim­i­larly, 10 En­gi­neer Task Force, each hav­ing an ap­prox­i­mate strength of 40 per­son­nel from Jodh­pur, Bhopal, Pune, Bengaluru and Se­cun­der­abad, and to­tal of 110 dif­fer­ent boats for res­cue and re­lief were pressed into ac­tion. It re­stored con­nec­tiv­ity at 49 lo­ca­tions, cleared 22 land­slides and con­structed 18 tem­po­rary bridges. It also dis­trib­uted over 3.5 tonnes of re­lief ma­te­rial and de­ployed six med­i­cal teams at Thris­sur, Er­naku­lam and Pathanamthitta districts.

Reach­ing Out to Peo­ple: Maj Gen San­jeev Narain, GOC, Ker­ala & Kar­nataka Sub Area with peo­ple in flood af­fected area, en­sur­ing ef­fec­tive re­lief op­er­a­tions.

PHO­TOGRAPHS: In­dian Army

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