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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Siachen Miracle: Indian Soldier Buried Under 25 Feet of Snow For 6 Days Rescued Alive!



Lance Naik Hanumanthappa Koppad, a soldier of the Indian Army, along with 9 of his colleagues was buried under 25 feet of snow on Wednesday, the 3rd of February 2016 when an avalanche swept away their post in Siachen Glacier. Within days the soldiers were presumed dead and tributes offered. However, the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force carried on with their rescue operations in extremely difficult conditions. Today, miraculously, Hanumanthappa was found alive—with weak pulse and disoriented—and was flown immediately to an Army hospital in New Delhi in an air ambulance. His condition is said to be extremely critical and next 24 to 48 hours will be crucial. The news of this miracle spread like wild fire and the whole nation has joined in prayers for the brave soldier’s final recovery.

Siachen Glacier is called the highest battleground. Situated in the eastern Karakoram Range in the Himalayas this is one of the disputed territories between India and Pakistan near the Line of Control. The Indian Army maintains the Siachen post rotating soldiers every one to three months. With an altitude of over 19,000 feet and temperatures dipping to -50 Degree Celsius during winter Siachen sector is known for its extremely harsh weather conditions. Nearly a thousand India soldiers have died here since 1984 due to weather and environmental conditions. Hanumanthappa’s survival for 6 days buried under 25 feet of snow and ice in this chillingly harsh climate presents the story of human endurance and the triumph of sheer willpower.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the quickest to react to this news of immense proportion. Ignoring protocol, without informing traffic police for clearing of roads and without even his normal accompanying convoy the Prime Minister rushed to the Army hospital. He met the Army Chief, other top officials and the doctors there to take stock of the line of treatment given to the brave soldier and to stress that no efforts should be spared to revive him. The nation appreciated the Prime Minister’s gesture as one of his finest and most sensitive. Narendra Modi becomes the first Indian Prime Minister ever to call upon a soldier and no other instance of such a surprise or impromptu programme by a Prime Minister ever comes to mind. Modi is known to be a down-to-earth person always giving his time to talk or communicate to the common people and he has been always vocal about the ultimate sacrifice of the Indian soldiers for the protection of the country. We had mentioned his sudden decision to go to Lahore to meet his Pakistan counterpart recently in an earlier post. The humanitarian warmth of his gesture has added a refreshing dimension to this immense miracle. In today’s conflicting times we need more of such miracles—to bring human values back to humans.

Members of Hanumanthappa’s family are the happiest souls at the moment and they are being flown to Delhi from Karnataka. His wife, all others and the nation are praying for his final recovery. We join in the prayers. The Braveheart must live.
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