Singapore, November 29: At the end, it all counts! Indian brave hearts, the Indian Navy, who worked day in and out to rescue people from the horrifying clutches of Kerala flood have received awards in praises and appreciation. Acknowledging their selfless service and bravery in rescue operation in Kerala floods, an Indian Navy Commander Vijay Varma and Captain P Rajkumar were honoured with the ‘Asian of The Year’ award for their death-defying rescue flying during the devastating floods earlier this year.
Indian Navy Commander Varma, 42, who was widely praised for leading the rescue in a district of the port city of Kochi, winched up a heavily pregnant woman who gave birth just after being airlifted to safety.
On the other hand, Captain Rajkumar, 54, winched 26 people up from a rooftop in Kochi while hovering between trees and other houses just two days after receiving a medal for saving a fisherman last year. A video of his Sea King helicopter pulling up a wheelchair-bound pregnant woman was widely shared on social media. At the end, Captain Rajkumar ended up with 32 people on board.
Enabling dozens of helicopters, the Indian Navy pilots did an exemplary job undertaking high-risk missions to save people from rooftops and isolated land as the southern state battled the severe flood crisis in August.
Also honoured were individuals who rushed to the scene of disaster, including at the Tham Luang cave rescue in Thailand and Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman, National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB), Indonesia.