Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said human welfare is India’s top priority and ‘Operation Dost’ to mobilise earthquake relief to Turkey and Syria demonstrates the country’s constant enveavour to serve humanity.
“Our culture has taught us Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, which is to treat the world as a family. Irrespective of where a human tragedy happens, our country has been steadfast in making human welfare as its top priority,” PM Modi said during an interaction with NDRF officials involved in ‘Operation Dost’.
PM Modi shared a video clip of the interaction on his official Twitter handle. “Today the whole world has goodwill towards India,” the PM said.
In the Twitter post captioned “I will always remember this interaction with those who took part in ‘Operation Dost”, Prime Minister Modi said the operation shows that the country always stands with those in need.
In the video, the PM Modi is also seen appreciating the officers for their work in providing assistance to earthquake-hit Turkey.
A commanding officer of the NDRF, who was part of the interaction, said, “When
I was overseeing the rescue and relief work (in Turkey), a patient’s relative sensed that I was the commanding officer. He held both my hands, took them to his eyes and then kissed them. He said you are like a father to me. He said ‘I represent my country’s young generation but I can assure you that the coming generations will remember what your country did for us.”
A woman officer recalled a woman in Turkey as telling her, “For me, god comes first and you second.” The officers revealed that the dog squad, which has been deployed as part of the ongoing relief operations, did their work ably and were in good health.
“We let Julie (part of NDRF’s dog squad) towards the rubbles and she gave us an indication of a survivor trapped under. We sent Romeo after Julie to confirm if there was a survivor. He barked in affirmation,” an officer said.
Another officer said, “We rescued two small girls from the rubble after 80-104 hours.”
“Whenever the Indian Air Force arrives to the rescue of humanity in a friendly country, hope is aroused in people’s hearts that India is standing with them. It is widely acknowledged about India that no matter what happens in the world, we will rush to help and support people in distress,” a senior officer said.
The Indian Army’s medical team deployed under ‘Operation Dost’ touched down on Monday at Ghaziabad’s Hindon Airport after a 12-day operation during which they treated over 3,500 patients in earthquake-ravaged Turkey.
Major Beena Tiwari, an Indian Army Major who served as a medical officer in the 60 Parachute Field Hospital and was seen hugging a Turkish woman in a viral picture, recounted her experience. Major Tiwari said that they realised the full extent of the devastation and the loss of lives after reaching Turkey.
Amid all the chaos, finding a spot to set up the hospital was tough, she recounted. She added that within hours of reaching Turkey, the Army set up their hospital in a building near a local hospital in Iskenderun.
The 99-member self-contained team successfully ran a fully equipped 30-bedded Field Hospital in Iskenderun, Hatay, attending to nearly 4,000 patients round the clock.