Four-year-old Anju Gurjar was lucky.
After being trapped at 50 feet in an uncovered 200-foot borewell she fell into in a Rajasthan village, the child survived.
Unlike a five-year-old boy who died after falling into a borewell in Jaipur district two years ago, Anju came out alive
after a 19-hour rescue effort by rescue specialists and the Dausa district administration.
After the trauma and a head injury, the little girl is now recovering at the Sawai Man Singh Hospital in Jaipur.
Anju fell into the well on Saturday evening while playing near her home in a village in Dausa district, 125 km southeast of Jaipur. Her playmates heard her cries for help and rushed to their elders, who in turn lost no time informing the district officials.
Though there were conflicting versions on the time taken by the administration to respond to the situation, Emergency Response Team commandos and doctors were rushed from Jaipur and Dausa. District administration and police officials were also at hand, camping at the site.
The rescue work took place on two fronts. In one, Anju was given oxygen through a tube and biscuits and water at night. At another, 10 tractors and heavy machinery used for digging at construction sites were pressed into service to dig a well parallel to the one she had fallen into.
After reaching a depth of about 50 feet at which Anju was stuck, rescue workers dug a trench from the parallel well to reach Anju.
The effort finally bore fruit. “The girl was taken out of the well after 12.30 pm.,” said a relieved Dausa superintendent of police Nisar Faruqi.
Waking up after several similar mishaps have taken place, the state government has now instructed local administrations and municipalities across the state to cap all uncovered wells.