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J&K floods: Wing Commander Abhijit Bali swam 20 km to rescue his family, neighbours

Author: Anubha Bhonsle
Publication: IBNLive.com
Date: September 11, 2014
URL: http://ibnlive.in.com/news/jk-floods-wing-commander-abhijit-bali-swam-20-km-to-rescue-his-family-neighbours/497927-3-245.html

The Army, Indian Air Force, National Disaster Response Force and Indian Navy- the heroes of rescue operations - are battling the raging flood waters round the clock to save the life of people in the flood-ravaged Jammu and Kashmir. Not caring about their lives and families, these personnel are trying to evacuate all those trapped and have so far rescued 90,000 people.

One of the heroic tales is of Wing Commander Abhijit Bali, whose family was also the victim of the floods in which over 200 people have lost their lives. Bali came back to Srinagar to rescue his family and after that he walked and swam 20 kilometres back to the base. He not only rescued his family but a few of his neighbours too.

Wing Commander Bali said, "I was in Nagpur when I got a call from my family that they think they won't survive. So I came here. The chopper took me to my house. I swung on a rope, banged the window a few times and finally broke it down. I entered my house and rescued my family members.

"I helped a few of my neighbours also. I made my way here swimming, walking and I thought I couldn't survive. That's when the Indian Army came to my rescue. I'll tell people not to lose hope. It is difficult but all is not lost. We can fight it. We need your support and materials that you can send, because it's worse than they think," he added.

The IAF has also brought in MI-26, the world's biggest chopper, to rescue lakhs stranded in the floods. Nearly 17 IAF transport aircraft have been deployed for rescue operations in the worst floods witnessed by the state in six decades.

The Army has also deployed 215 columns for rescue and relief operations. The IAF has deployed 30 helicopters in Kashmir valley including ALH and MI-17.

Army Chief Dalibir Singh Suhag also visited Srinagar to review the flood situation. He said, "The situation is getting better. The water is receding. The rescue operations were also affected in between. I think in the next 3 to 4 days, the situation will get better. Now we need to provide food, water and medicines to people. We have evacuated a lot of people. In the morning today, we evacuated 49,832 people."
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