Chennai: Perhaps this represents the true spirit of Indian culture, ethos and spirit. The Indians as a whole may have thousands of castes, creeds and cultures, yet, in moments of crisis, they can unite as one, sinking all their differences.
A report from the flood-hit Chennai reasserts the faith that can be placed in India’s unity in diversity. Chitra and Mohan live in Urapakkam suburb in Chennai. Chitra was in her ninth month of pregrancy, with two days left for the expected date of the new arrival.
But they were stranded in their home, literally neck deep in water. Muhammed Yunus, a public-spirited citizen, who is always ready to go out of the way to help others, received the distress call through mobile message apps.
Taking the help of a few friends, Yunus fetched boats and sailed to track down the house. It took him four hours to locate the place. There was no power anywhere. They could hear the screams of a large number of people shouting for help from tops of the roofs. Many of them had climbed on to the trees to stay above water.
Yunus rescued two families. It was only after they made themselves comfortable in the boats that he came to know that one of the women was expecting a baby with the due date two days away.
The boat could be rowed to the main road in about 15 minutes. On the way, the boat was about ram into a tree that had crashed and was lying across the road. Chitra reportedly lost her senses with the impending danger.
To keep her conscious, Yunus started narrating her stories, until finally getting her admitted to a hospital.
When asked what motivated him to execute a risky mission of this kind, he only said that if one did not help others in need, all the money possessed was only scraps of paper.
Indeed a great message implying that all riches and comforts are worthless when faced with nature’s fury. Yunus’ extraordinary act needs extraordinary appreciation and recognition, according to the family.
When Chitra gave birth to a girl child, they could not have done anything better than naming her Yunus, in lifelong gratitude to him for saving the family.
In another case, an IAF helicopter airlifted a pregnant woman who was stuck in the middle of rising water. She gave birth to twins in the hospital.