21 February, 2023 | Pragati Singh
Modi stated that human welfare is India’s top concern, and ‘Operation Dost,’ reflects the country’s commitment to humanity.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has stated that human welfare is India’s top concern, and ‘Operation Dost,’ which mobilises disaster relief to Turkey and Syria, reflects the country’s unwavering commitment to serving 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 sent a video of the meeting to his official Twitter account.
“Today the whole world has goodwill towards India,” the PM said. Prime Minister Modi said in a Twitter post titled “I will always remember this interaction with those who took part in ‘Operation Dost”, that the operation demonstrates that the country is always there for those in need.
In the video, Prime Minister Modi is seen thanking the officers for their efforts in assisting earthquake-ravaged Turkey. A commanding officer of the NDRF, who was part of the interaction, said, “When I was overseing 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 female officer recalled a Turkish woman telling her, “For me, god comes first and you second.”
The officers revealed that the dog squad, which was deployed as part of the ongoing relief efforts, performed admirably and 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 ‘Operation Dost’ medical team arrived at Ghaziabad’s Hindon Airport on Monday after a 12-day operation in 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 photographed hugging a Turkish woman in a viral photo, spoke to ANI about her experience.
Major Tiwari told ANI that after arriving in Turkey, they realised the full extent of the devastation and loss of life. Finding a location to set up the hospital was difficult in the midst of the chaos, she recalled.
She went on to say that the Army set up their hospital in a building near a local hospital in Iskenderun within hours of arriving in Turkey. The self-contained 99-member team successfully ran a fully equipped 30-bed Field Hospital in Iskenderun, Hatay, caring for nearly 4,000 patients around the clock.