DailyPost 2622

If the rat miners were a part of an international rescue team, renowned in its own right, then, how would have we behaved? If they were a part of a UN disaster management, what would have been our approach to them? Presumably, they would have not got a chance, if the final fateful mechanical failure had not happened. Strange as it may sound that no one there who was truly conversant with their capabilities and their utility in such a scenario. The foreign experts could be unaware of such crazy human expertise but the Indian ones should have been aware of it. Is selling expertise the only way of making your expertise known in this country.

Tunnelling has come into our select infrastructure in a big way from the days of the Konkan railway project. If such skills were so readily available and that too at not even at throwaway price, why have they not been a part of the safety net being provided by the construction agencies, who were duty bound to provide the best possible cover, given the nature of risks involved. If they were not from the unorganised sector, or literally fending for their lives, we would have been forced to provide social security cover to them, by way of insurance etc. We have not heard on this count even after they delivered what they did for the nation.

Imagine if the rat miners belonged to a prestigious organisation, with a flamboyant name for their trade, they might have got into the Indian bravery folklore as the NSG commandos. What pride the organisation would have taken then and would have honoured them with promotions and financial rewards and would have made them a part of media blitzkrieg. Was their act not of the level of medal winners in various sporting competitions, where cash awards keep tumbling down from one organisation after another. Is the glory and respite they brought to the country by ending the ordeal any less?

Don’t they deserve that their lives be transformed beyond recognition for what they delivered so confidently in the most trying of circumstances. We are so liberal in taking care of people competing and completing a variety of hardship races and similar competitions. Will they not be needed ever again? Given the nature of skills the rat miners have, what other avenues can they be used, in the wide gamut of disaster management. Can some out of the world training transform them to even better professional rescuers in similar areas? The grit and determination can also be used in multifarious ways. Just think of the cost of the rescue operation and what has been the expenditure of them. Undermining doers and real heros cannot take us very far.

Sanjay Sahay

Have a nice evening.

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