Radha Reborn: Two-and-a-half-Year old Radha Rescued from Bore well safely in Angul District

“Incidents and disaster may occur anywhere, anytime, with any one – bravely fighting with incident is the only way to win”

Background – In an exemplary and a relentless rescue operation, the Angul District Administration ( DEOC /DDMA) has recently made a successful  attempt in handling emergency situations and rescued a minor girl who had fallen into a bore well in Angul district, alive after an intense rescue operation that lasted for several hours on Monday.  Radha Sahu, two-and-a-half-years -old daughter of Santosh Sahu, had fallen into the borewell at Golasara Village under Jamulnali GP of Kishorenagar  Block and Handpa police limits of Angul Districts.

It was Sunday. Like other children, Radha, two and half year old daughter of Srikanta Sahoo, was playing happily in their nearby garden yard  around 9 am on 25th December 2017 at village Golasara 40 Km away from District Headquarter and is a remote forest village having 50 numbers of households under Jamulnali. There was a 200ft-deep bore well that was dug some two years back for agricultural purposes under agriculture promotion scheme. It was not used and left abandoned. It was 15 to 20 feet’s away from garden cottage.  Little Radha was not aware of this danger and was playing happily. Suddenly she fell into the bore and was trapped some 15 to 20 ft below in the 200ft-deep bore well. Her friends shouted for help and her mother and neighbors came rushing. Locals rushed to her help after they heard the child crying. Villagers initially tried to rescue her but in vain following which they informed the nearest police station and fire service. On receiving the information, local police personnel and authorities reached the site and initiated rescue operation. They also informed the district administration.

Response & Challenges of District Administration – On being informed, the district administration discussed the matter with SP and District Fire Officer for rescue operation. Though it was Sunday, ADM and other  district administration officers were rushed to the site. After studying the situation,  District administration  ( DDMA) immediately swung  into action and chalked out a rescue plan with fire and police personnel.  The ADM immediately contacted a local construction company   which was engaged in NHAI Road extension work. The Gayatri construction company agreed to support and sent two JCB machines for digging a hole 6 feet’s away from the bore well and parallel to the bore well to rescue the girl as per the plan. A parallel tunnel was dug with 15-16 feet depth and 6 feet away from the bore well hole. Then a tunnel was dug to connect to the bore well. After opening the tunnel, a fireman reached the spot and carefully rescued Radha.  Radha fell into the bore well around 9 am, and was rescued at 4.45 pm. The entire operation was challenging as there was a risk to the child owing to lack of oxygen supply inside the bore well. Local administrative officials, including doctors, were present at the spot, which is not accessible by mobile phone, during the rescue operation

She was shifted to District Head Quarter Hospital (DHH) Angul soon after being rescued and a panel of doctors monitored her health condition. She was in a stable condition. DDMA chairperson Sj Anil Kumar Samal, Collector and DM Angul who coordinated the operations, has ordered the executive engineer of the lift irrigation department to conduct an enquiry into the matter and report by Tuesday.

The child’s father, Srikant Sahu, thanked the administration and said: “We had lost hope, but the authorities really toiled and finally gave a new life to my daughter.”

 After Action report – Collector and DM ordered the executive engineer of the lift irrigation department to conduct an enquiry into the matter and report within two days. On the basis of enquiry report, Collector recommended for blacklisting the tube well contractor M/S Ganesh Bore Wells, Chattisgarh and taking strong action against the Junior Engineer LI for negligence and callousness. He issued instruction to all deptts for filling the open defunct bore wells, if any, and submit certificates within 7 days .

\The role played by Gayatri constructions, fire, police, health & other local people was commendable.  Immediate rescue operation local doctor team examined and suggested to admit in the DHH . This is an outstanding exhibition of coordination & team work in handling a challenging task in the district.

Appreciation & Motivation  – under the chairmanship of Collector and DM Angul    “ Sambardhana Ustva”   reward merriment  was organized at Collector office. BDO, police Personnel ,fire personnel and Gyatri construction company were awarded for their outstanding exhibition of coordination & team work in handling a challenging task in the district.  

 Conclusions:

Disaster preparedness and response is critical. The Fire Service immediately started rescue, operations and manage the crowd effectively and efficiently finally rescue Radha from dungeon of a disused bore well without any harm to her. Her ability to survive against all odds and the efficient and timely support by the district administration deserves wholehearted praise.