The valour of the Indian army is to be celebrated every day as there are countless stories of the soldiers sacrificing their lives for the nation. A lot has already been said about our army’s endeavours and victories on the battlefield but the army has played a huge role in one more problem that plagues the country every few years – Natural Disasters! Let us look at the three disasters that struck India in the last few years and how the Indian Army played a huge role in minimizing the impact of the disaster as well the relief work that follows after it.
Fani was the strongest tropical cyclone to hit the state of Odisha since the 1999 Odisha cyclone with wind speeds reaching 209-251 kmph. 72 people lost their lives with the states of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal being the most severely affected states in India. 11 lakh people were evacuated from densely populated areas in India and Bangladesh which were two of the largest evacuation programmes in the world. The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (ODRR) praised India for minimising the loss of life. The Indian Army and NDRF ( National Disaster Response Force ) played a very important role in minimising the causalities in this disaster.
2019 Bihar Floods
Almost all regions in India received heavy rainfall in the last two months of the 2019 monsoon season with Bihar receiving continuous showers for weeks. Bihar has always been a flood-prone zone but the 2019 monsoon was one of the worst. Five rivers, viz. Bagmati, Burhi Gandak, Kamla Balan, Adhwara and Khiroi, flowed above their danger marks with the city of Patna bearing the brunt of the floods for several days. The community kitchens operated by the army and the NDRF team ensured that relief operations did not suffer.
2018 Kerala Floods
2018 was one of the worst years for the state of Kerala wherein the entire state was ravaged by deadly floods. A million people were evacuated to safe areas. A total of 10 flood relief columns, each having an approximate strength of 65 personnel carried out rescue operations in ten districts of Kerala. In addition to the 10 flood relief columns, 10 Engineer Task Forces (ETF) each having an approximate strength of 40 personnel from Jodhpur, Bhopal, Pune, Bangalore and Secunderabad were pressed into action. Army also utilised 53 military boats to evacuate civilians from flood-affected areas.
Today as we celebrate our 72nd Army Day, let us applaud our brave soldiers for not only guarding our borders but also for acting as a strength of the country during difficult times of natural disasters.