HUBBALLI: The entire nation joined in the prayers of the family and friends of Lance Naik Hanumanthappa Koppad, who was pulled out from under tonnes of snow on the Siachen glacier where an Indian Army post was swept away by an avalanche six days ago.
While nine other personnel perished in the avalanche, a 150-strong rescue team despatched to Siachen found Hanumanthappa barely alive.
The soldier hails from a small village named Betadur located 20 km from Hubballi.
While his survival under snow with temperatures falling to -45 degrees Celsius, without any life support, food and water is itself a miracle, people around the country prayed for yet another miracle what with doctors describing his condition as "extremely critical"
Lt Gen D S Hooda, Northern Army Commander said, “We hope the miracle continues. Pray with us.”
Inspired by the soldier's endurance, ordinary people express across the country joined in the family's prayers.
In Bangalore, student Akshay said:
Another student Vallari Parashar said:
Students in Chennai expressed their concern for Hanumanthappa
The family members of Koppad were joyous about his recovery but anxious about his state. “It’s a sheer miracle. I have no words to explain. Me and other family members are waiting to see him,” said his ecstatic wife Jayamma, who had not stopped crying ever since the news of her husband missing in Siachen came.
The family erupted in joy when TV channels started flashing the news.