After an ordeal of 17 days, 41 workers who were trapped in the Uttarkashi tunnel were rescued on November 28. The rescue operation was not easy – the topography made the effort even more difficult. But following the efforts made by the rescue team, the nation let out a sigh of relief.
Let’s take a look at some of the other rescue operations that have been undertaken in India.
1. Raniganj Coalfield Collapse, 1989
On November 13, 1989, the miners who were working at the Mahabir Colliery in Raniganj, West Bengal, triggered a series of blasts to break the coal walls. However, this caused the mine structure to break and it led to heavy flooding. Jaswant Singh Gill, a young engineer, came forward to the rescue and got 61 trapped miners out. Mission Raniganj, starring Akshay Kumar, is based on this rescue operation.
2. When a trekker who was stuck on a hill in Kerala for 2 days was rescued by the Army
In February 2022, a 23-year-old man was trapped in a hill cleft in Kerala’s Palakkad district. He was stuck on the hill for two days. The Indian Army and the National Disaster Response Force reached the man and he was airlifted to safety.
3. Sikkim Avalanche, 2023
In April 2023, a massive avalanche struck the Jawaharlal Nehru road that connects Gangtok with Nathu La. According to reports, the avalanche claimed seven lives and left many trapped in the snow. The Border Roads Organisation, Army, State Disaster Management Team, and police undertook a rescue operation amidst the harsh weather to save lives.
4. Operation Ganga, 2022
The Indian government undertook this rescue mission to rescue Indians, mostly students, who were stuck in the neighbouring countries during the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The government had a total of 90 evacuation flights that were used during this mission. More than 18,000 Indians were rescued under this operation.
5. Operation Devi Shakti, 2021
This operation by the Indian Armed Forces was initiated in 2021 after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan. India facilitated around 450 flights that evacuated not just Indians but also other foreign nationals. The mission evacuated more than 800 people.
6. Operation Kaveri, 2023
Launched on April 24, 2023, the Indian government started Operation Kaveri to rescue Indians who were stranded in war-struck Sudan. The evacuation was mainly conducted by air and sea. India had positioned two transport aircraft and a naval ship as per the plan. Thanks to the mission, thousands of Indians were brought back to safety.
7. Operation Maitri, 2015
After the 2015 earthquake that shook Nepal, India undertook this operation to rescue and provide relief. India was the first country that extended help to its neighbour. The mission evacuated foreign nationals and brought 5,000 Indians back from Nepal. India also sent medical and engineering teams along with other relief materials.
8. Operation Ajay, 2023
Operation Ajay is an ongoing operation that is being facilitated by the government to bring Indians back from Israel after the conflict between Israel and Palestine broke into a war. To date, a total of six evacuation flights have been sent out to rescue Indians from Israel.
These rescue operations show the efforts put in by the people and the Army to safeguard Indian citizens.