BELAGAVI: Five families who were trapped in their houses on the first floor of a building in Durga Nagar, Khanapur, have a group of youths to thank for, for rescuing them.When Thursday dawned, 13 members of these five families were horrified to find the area in water. As the day progressed, they saw water enter the premises and start rising. In no time, they were neck-deep in water. With children wailing, the panic-stricken families didn’t know what to do.
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The family of Bharma Patil, his sister Yamuna and three other families who were stuck called several people and raised an alarm. Some people who received their distress calls called the authorities concerned. The rescue team could not rush to their aid.
When the news reached Vinayak Sawant, Rahul Sawant and friends, they decided to help the victims rather than wait for the rescue team.
Speaking to TNIE, Vinayak said that the flood water had already reached the chest level of the adults and there was no time to wait for someone to rescue them. “We had to act before it was too late,” he said.
The youths had no boats or life-saving jackets and they had no option but to swim about 200m in the flood water to reach the building. They discussed and designed a proper plan and began their ‘Operation rescue’. And after a struggle of two hours, these heroes rescued the five families with the help of rubber tubes and rope.
Vinayak and his friends have been engaged in the rescue operations of flood-hit people since the last two days. Yamuna Patil told TNIE they were concerned for the four children, all below 14 years. “As the water level started rising, we made the children stand on the dining table.”
“A few of us knew swimming, but we were not confident,” said Bhushan Palekar, who was rescued. “I kept calling my friends, asking them to save us. Meanwhile, the heroes arrived and rescued us,” he said.