Maharashtra girl salutes soldier; women tie rakhi, do 'arti'

Mumbai, Aug 12 (IANS) While the defence, police, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and other security forces personnel are known for their selfless services, particularly during disasters, at times they receive unexpected compliments as well.

During the relief and rescue operations in flood-hit Maharashtra, a soldier was taken by surprise when a six-year-old girl in Gaonbagh village of the Sangli district extended her hand to shake his hands, saluted him and complimented him by saying: "Aap bahut achha kaam karte ho!"

After expressing her impromptu gratitude, the girl ran back to her relatives waiting nearby, show a video-clip, released by the defence spokesperson, here on Monday.

In Rajapur village of the Kolhapur district, scores of women queued up to tie rakhis to the navy personnel involved in the rescue and relief mission.

"The women were expressing gratitude to the navy personnel for fulfilling their 'dharma' as brothers by helping and rescuing them during the rain-induced disaster," said a defence spokesperson.

At Sainikwadi village in the Pune district, when the rescue teams, comprising army and naval soldiers, and NDRF & SDRF personnel, reached there, they were welcomed with cheers of joy. The residents also performed their 'arti' (a welcome ritual).

Sainikwadi is a unique village as almost every family has one member serving in the defence forces, and since Independence more than a dozen jawans have sacrificed their lives for the country.

Maharashtra is suffering from unprecedented rain and flood this year. While 40 lives have been lost, 400,000 plus people have been rescued and shifted to safer place.

Though rains have subsided since Sunday and flood waters have started receding in most regions, the many regions in the state is littered with fallen trees, swept up dirt and garbage, damaged roads and bridges, and destroyed homes and farms.

Most areas are still without power, drinking water, fuel and other essentials despite huge rehabilitation efforts to help bring peoples' lives back on the track.

--IANS

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