Unyielding Valour: Stories of Heroism Emerge as Floodwaters Recede in Punjab

by Manjari Singh

In the aftermath of receding floodwaters in Majha, tales of unwavering determination and courage have emerged, highlighting the indomitable spirit of the villagers. Among these stories, one stands out—the account of a revenue official who risked his own life to rescue both BSF jawans and civilians from the treacherous currents of Ujh.

Fateh Singh, an ex-Army serviceman, currently serves as a patwari in the Dhar block. Reflecting on his remarkable feat, Singh firmly believes that it was his Army training that spurred him into action, despite the overwhelming challenges he faced.

Last Sunday, as the Ujh River swelled beyond its limits, Singh was summoned by the Pathankot administration to take charge of one of the fiber boats deployed for rescue operations. His immediate mission was to bring back six BSF personnel and three stranded civilians, who were marooned near Jaitpur village, to the safety of Khudaipur hamlet. The security personnel had been stationed at the Simbal Skool border outpost when the floodwaters encircled them.

As Singh prepared to commence the rescue operation from Jaitpur, the boat encountered a malfunction. Undeterred, he made the courageous decision to dismantle and detach the engine from the vessel. Once accomplished, he discarded the heavy engine, knowing that it would hinder their crossing of the river.

Upon realizing that the boat was now without an engine, the BSF personnel and civilians grew apprehensive and hesitated to proceed. Singh persistently reminded them of the imminent danger they faced if they continued to vacillate and waver. Caught between two unfavorable choices and lacking better alternatives, they reluctantly agreed to embark on the perilous journey.

With only steel oars at their disposal, Singh steered the boat in the absence of an engine, battling against the strong currents that frequently diverted their path.

For two grueling hours, these ten individuals teetered on the precipice of life and death, relying solely on hope and their unwavering determination.

Finally, when Singh skillfully guided the vessel to the safety of the land at Khudaipur hamlet, he and his companions were greeted with resounding chants of ‘Jo Bole So Nihal’ by the large crowd that had gathered there.

“Where there is a will, there is a way,” remarked Fateh Singh.

Harbir Singh, the Deputy Commissioner of Pathankot, expressed the administration’s intention to honor Fateh Singh on August 15th, recognizing “the exemplary bravery he demonstrated.”

The selflessness and heroism displayed by Fateh Singh serve as a shining example of the human spirit’s resilience and unwavering dedication to the well-being of others, even in the face of daunting adversity.

Manjari Singh

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