Tuesday, 2 July 2013

The olive lining through the cloudburst

Uttarakhand tragedy has hit the nation hard. The fury of nature did not spare anyone, locals, tourists or even animals. Such calamities can never be measured in terms of quantity; a life lost is a life lost. There can be no other terms to describe the loss. But what give us, humans, a hope is the hundreds of kind stories that evolve from such a devastating situation. Stories of people helping each other despite being helpless themselves are the ones that give you a hope about humanity. In the Uttarakhand calamity, what made all Indians smile and take pride in being Indian was the Indian Defence Personnel’s act of courage rescuing thousands stranded in different corners of Kedarnath.
These men in uniform were doing everything they could – being doctors, counsellors, teachers, sons, construction workers building roads and bridges and even a ‘bridge’ to help out.

We all crib about our jobs, our daily routine and even our life in general and here were these men who with a smile on their lips and determination written all over their face struggling day and night to see that the flood victims were evacuated to safety.  Were it not for the defence personnel, God alone would have known what would have happened to the rescue efforts. While the army, air force, IBTF men were leaving no stone unturned to rescue and evacuate victims, the politicians were as usual busy blaming each other and looking for publicity even in the face of such a catastrophe. It was rather annoying to see certain leaders taking an aerial survey of the situation seated inside a lavish aircraft. An irony that speaks of the two Indias that we often talk about! One that is covered in luxury, and the other seeking a miracle to survive yet another day.

The men in uniform, though, continued what best they could do – reach out – they were even in non accessible areas disregarding their own safety. Then tragedy struck them too in the form of a helicopter crash that took away precious lives of not just the victims but even the rescuers. Promising lives were lost forever. 

There were supporting voices for our men on social media, print and television. Then what? Their heroic and humane deeds will be forgotten and again life will turn to ‘normal’. These warriors will continue their ‘task’ somewhere else without any safety measures, without any additional perks or without anyone even noticing their valour. Shouldn’t we as a nation stand up to our defence forces? Shouldn’t these men and women get a far better life, both in the forces and outside? Shouldn’t they family be protected and looked after forever by the government? Corrupt politicians in India immersed in wealth and splendour hardly care about the welfare of anyone except themselves. What concern will they show to these men who are the real heroes? Though the defence forces do their best to take care of their personnel, we, as citizens, too should pitch in whatever way we can.  Respect these men and show the respect in constructive ways. Take a cue from their life and reach out to those who need help. Be good, responsible law abiding citizens and perhaps that will be our best tribute. Meanwhile, our boys will continue their task regardless of anyone being inspired by their act or not!

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