I received the following email from Bhushan Y Nigale of Bangalore. I've posted it on Broadsword because Mr Nigale's at least managed to write in his thanks. Thousands of others who the military helps have no way of expressing their gratitude.
Dated: 8th Oct 09
Dear Shri Shukla,
I read some of your posts on the Indian Navy on your blog and thought of narrating to you a recent incident involving the Indian Navy. I am trying to reach the Navy officers to formally express my thanks but have been unable to do so as I am not able to find the right feedback channel on the official websites.
On 2nd October 2009, my wife, our two year old daughter and me were traveling by our car from Panaji-Goa to Bangalore. At 7:30 am we passed the Argha gate of the Project Sea Bird, Indian Navy's base at Karwar. A group of protestorsgreeted us with stones and sticks. They were mostly villagers angry against the Navy for constructing a stone wall apparently blocking the flow of water to the sea. They had blocked the National Highway (NH 17), so we waited.
From 10:30 am onwards, the intensity of the rain increased, and by 11:30 am water was flooding our car. Holding my baby daugher, I jumped off the car, my wife followed. We waded a kilometer through navel-high water with the help of Navy Police personnel. They guided us to a shade.
The ferocity of rains increased even more, and a group of 200 civilians - passengers stuck on the highway and also the same protestors - were rescued by the Navy personnel and brought to the shade. We were drenched, heavy winds were blowing and we all were worried: there was no land in sight, the water level even in the shade was rising. The Navy personnel were very calm throughout and assuring us of support - an assurance that translated into action shwen they brought large containers of Khichadi and coffeee for us. I later learnt that the Navy police made food fo clsoe to 500 more peop-le stuck in the nearby village and transported it via boats on ths highway.
Above all, I want to mention with thanks the personal attention given by the staff towards our baby. Capt Sunder Lal, and on the next day - wer were at the Naval base for close to 30 hours - Lt. Dahiya brought milk for our baby specially from their homes. Sunder Lalji was a pillar of strength, masterminding the rescue operations, assuring us civilians of saftey. Lt Dahiya even tried to arrange a drop for us back to Goa. SUnder Lalji was intrumental in helping us find our car and then help us transport it on a truck back to Goa.
I felt a surge of pride when I saw our Navy personnel work very hard to go beyound thier call of duty and risk their lives to save us. I wallowed in happiness to know our country is secure in the hands of such committed and brave people. My heartfelt thanks to the Navy personnel!
Please mention this on your blog if you deem this story fit to bring to the notice of other people.
thanks and regards,
Bhushan Y. Nigale,