During the devastating flood in Assam dozens of stories have seen when Indian Army-Going Beyond the Call of Duty…here is one of those stories.
For Kumud Burman, a land tilling and cattle rearing farmer of Lakhopur Village in Nalbari District of Assam, the night of 15th July 2019 was just like any other night. Yes, there had been some talk among the villagers on that day regarding the rising levels of Pagladiya River, but Kumud paid no heed to them.
After all, Assam is not naïve to floods. Keeping these thoughts aside, and after ensuring his octogenarian mother went off to sleep peacefully that night, Kumud settled in for a good night’s sleep.
To his utter shock and disbelief even before the midnight, Kumud woke up to the sound of his neighbours moving about and calling for help. Concerned, he rushed outside, only to see the roads inundated with rapidly rising waters and people scrambling for help, being stranded on the islands that their homes had turned into.
Acting on instincts he checked up on his mother and tried calling the Gaon Burha (and whoever else he could think of) in those desperate moments. But in a situation typical of disasters, the phone networks were not working.
Moving his necessary valuables to the thatched roof of his rapidly submerging home, he prayed for morning and with it the reduction of the flood waters. Unfortunately, the rain god disagreed. The heavens started pouring and suddenly, morning seemed too far away.
Cursing himself for not heeding to the talks of the other villagers in the past few days, Kumud, along with his aged mother, fought the nature for survival. In the dark night, the light was scarce and so was hope.
But through darkness, came a call, followed by the beam of a searchlight. The Indian Army, always the last resort, had sprung into action at the first notice of the calamity and came to Lakhopur Village to look for anyone stranded in the floods.
Although the army boat was already full with rescuers and rescuees, the soldiers from the nearby army camp made room for them with two of them jumping out of the boat to make room for the frail senior citizen.
In the dark of the night, the Army moved all the stranded villagers, moving them to high ground and relief camps, making multiple trips into the flooded area as required. Thankfully, by the tireless efforts of the soldiers, all villagers were saved.
Going beyond the call of duty, the army camp of Nalbari also organized a Medical and Veterinary Camp inside the inundated village to further provide relief to the affected populace. As beneficiaries, the entire village joined together in expressing their gratitude to the Army Camp Nalbari and the Indian Army as a whole.