Four women officers — magistrate Swati Bhadoria, ITBP DIG Aparna Kumar, DIG Garhwal Range Neeru Garg, and SDRF DIG Riddhim Aggarwal—are at the helm of the ongoing rescue and relief operations at Chamoli district, Uttarakhand. From camping at the site and consoling family members to setting up the control room, supervising the ongoing rescue operations and distribution of relief materials, the officers have been working round the clock to ensure matters stay on track.
“It was a big challenge. Coordinating things, setting up the control room, meeting and consoling the family members, carrying out the relief and rescue operations in coordination with other agencies, restoration of electricity supply, providing food packets and preparing the list of those missing was a big challenge,” DM Swati Bhadoria told Times Of India.
Picture credit: Instagram/ITBP
Bhadoria’s son stayed put at her official residence at Gopeshwar while she camped at Tapovan. “After three days, I called him here and for the last four days, he, too, has been camping at the site. With this major responsibility, I cannot even think of staying anywhere else than here,” she further told the portal.
For Garg, this has been a rather testing time as her time is divided between the operations and her nine-year-old daughter who is taking her exams in Haridwar. “But then, I have bigger responsibilities to take care of. We are doing our best possible to save people and find those missing,” she told TOI.
Photo credit: Instagram/ITBP
Aggarwal led the stated that The State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) played a crucial role in effective management of the crisis. “The challenges were there on the personal front, but the focus was on saving lives and the rescue operations. Since the SDRF was first to reach the spot, my role was to strike a balance for smooth coordination with other agencies involved. In the past too, SDRF has played a crucial role in rescue operations, and in Chamoli too, our team put its best foot forward,” Aggarwal, who led the SDRF team as its DIG, said.