Daring father swims against tide to take ailing infant to hospital

Daring father swims against tide to take ailing infant to hospital

HYDERABAD (DHNS): The iconic still of a father holding an infant wrapped in a piece of cloth over swirling waters reminds us of a scene from the blockbuster multilingual Bahubali. A photograph of a father carefully holding his sick daughter, wrapped in red, above his head and crossing an overflowing stream has gone viral on social media.

The man Pangi Sathibabu, who risked his life to save his infant daughter, is from the deep tribal area of Kudumusari in Balapam panchayat in the Maoist-ridden Chintapalli mandal of Visakhapatnam district in Andhra Pradesh.

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The Kudumusari village has no direct road link and to reach the panchayat headquarters, locals have to cross a small stream that almost circumambulates the village. Due to the heavy rain in the hills over the past week, the stream was swollen, cutting off all connection with other areas.

With no other way to get his ailing daughter to a primary health centre in Lothugedda, Sathibabu accompanied by his friend dared to cross the stream. The water was deep and flowing at a brisk pace. Sathibabu held his sick infant over his head and crossed the stream with grit, despite warnings from the villagers. After he reached the banks, he trekked for another five kilometres to reach the main road and then the health centre.

“Life in these forests is typical. Tribals prefer to stay deep in the jungle as it provides them a livelihood. They (tribals) know nothing else. But a proper road linkage is the need of the hour in the Paderu, Chintapalli and Araku belt,” said Rama Rao Dora, a tribal rights activist who lives in Paderu.

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