Vikash Sharma

After carrying out a successful operation that lasted for over 100 hours to rescue Rahul Sahu, who had fallen into a deep borewell in Chhattisgarh, the brave jawans of the Odisha-based National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) battalion received a rousing reception upon their arrival back home.

Recounting the ‘mission impossible’, the NDRF officials said that they had struck a connection with Rahul soon after he started responding to their calls. Perhaps the zeal to save Rahul and reunite him with his mother kept the NDRF personnel going despite working continuously for almost 5 days under extreme heat conditions.

“It was for the first time that we worked without sleeping for 4 to 5 days. We used to spend our time sitting on rocks at 46 -47 degrees temperature. Our entire focus was on rescuing Rahul and reuniting with his mother,” said NDRF Inspector, SK Tripathy.

On what motivated the NDRF jawans to go ahead with the rescue mission, Tripathy said, “The connection formed with Rahul after realising that he is responding to our calls, kept us motivated.”

Differently-abled Rahul had fallen into the unused borewell in the backyard of his house while playing in Pihrid village on June 10. He was rescued after an intense long operation that continued for almost 104-long-hour.

After his rescue, Rahul was immediately rushed to the hospital where he is recuperating. His condition is stable and once all reports are received, we can say he is out of danger, said Dr. Sushil Kumar adding that an expert team is monitoring his condition.

Back home, Rahul’s brother is anxiously waiting for his return from hospital. “I was also not sleeping and my family asked me to eat for which I got the energy to be on the spot,” said Rahul’s brother Rishab.

Rahul’s grandmother said, “It was testing time for all of us in our family. We had forgotten everything. Now we feel a bit relaxed and exhausted as well.”

Not only family members, the villagers and Rahul’s school teachers and batch mates are also looking forward to meet him. “Rahul’s younger brother used to accompany him to school and toilet. He used to feed Rahul during tiffin break and clean his face after meals,” said Sobharam Chauhan, headmaster of Pihrid Saraswati Sishu Mandir.