Heavy and unprecedented snow since 12 January, had blocked the roads to the villages in Kashmir, even parked cars had got covered with snow. ‘Khairiyat’ patrols of Army, meant to check up on the welfare of the villagers, were carried out on foot. Being a ‘Humsaya’ the Mobile numbers of the Army Camps were re-shared with the locals and assistance assured.
On 14 January, Army Company Commander at Uplona, Baramulla, received a distress call from a distraught family of village Dardpura, Baramulla. One lady, in her third trimester, had developed severe pregnancy related complications, endangering both herself and her yet-to-be-born child. Immediately, a patrol under the local company commander and the Army doctor was moved to Dardpura for evacuating the lady, Mrs Shamima W/o Riyaz Ahmed Mir to Baramulla Hospital. The foot patrol started moving the lady on stretcher to Uplona through waist deep snow. Meanwhile, the Uplona Rashtriya Rifles Battalion tasked other soldiers to clear the helipad at Uplona which was under five feet of snow, for helicopter evacuation. Simultaneously, another party started manually clearing the road from Uplona to Baramulla to facilitate quick move by road in an ambulance.
Once at Uplona the patient was stabilised and immediately moved by an Army ambulance, with the Army Medical Officer, to Baramulla hospital. Soldiers kept clearing the snow ahead as the ambulance moved along the snow covered road. At the District Hospital, the gynaecologist and obstetrician confirmed the severity of complications that needed immediate medical intervention. The Army personnel remained at the hospital for any other help. After a tense period of waiting, a healthy baby boy was born. Both mother and child are safe.
Lt Gen KJS Dhillon, Chinar Corps Commander, on many occasions has deliberated on the profound connection with the Awam of Kashmir and the Army as that of a ‘Humsaya’. This relationship is widely understood and respected in Kashmir.
True to the slogan of ‘Humsaya hain Hum’ and six hours of dedicated effort of more than 100 Army personnel and 30 civilians, once again working together , saved two precious lives.