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Miraculous escape for tiny tot

IT IS nothing short of a miracle. A three-year-old boy who accidentally fell into a nine-inch wide hole dug for a borewell, was rescued 15 hours later, unscathed. In fact, he had a wide smile on his face when he finally emerged from the hole, and though exhausted he looked bemused as his family and friends hugged him with tears of joy.

india Updated: Jan 27, 2006 23:34 IST

IT IS nothing short of a miracle. A three-year-old boy who accidentally fell into a nine-inch wide hole dug for a borewell, was rescued 15 hours later, unscathed. In fact, he had a wide smile on his face when he finally emerged from the hole, and though exhausted he looked bemused as his family and friends hugged him with tears of joy.

The incident occurred in village Kelod Kartal, situated some 15 km from the City, at around 5 pm yesterday. Deepak was playing with his two elder sisters Mamta (7) and Kajal (5) in a field where a borewell had been dug only recently, while their parents Jagdish Singh and Sanju Bai were working as labourers in a nearby village.

The borewell had yielded no water, and the mouth had been loosely covered by a gunny-sack. Perhaps, the gunny-sack reminded him of his bed, because he jumped with gusto on the sack and sank around 20 feet inside. The borewell was around 400 feet deep, but fortunately, the pipes inside had not been removed and this stopped Deepak’s further slide into the hole. Mamta and Kajal heard his cries for help from the dark hole, and told a villager who was passing by in his tractor and rustic rescue methods started.

Taking us through the 15-hour ordeal during which the family’s emotions fluctuated between hope and despair, Deepak’s mother Sanju Bai said that villagers put in a hook tied on to a rope inside the hole, in a bid to tug him up, but the attempt proved futile and all that came out was Deepak’s torn shirt, accompanied by plaintive cries from Deepak to bring him out.

Then someone thought of putting down a rope with a loop, and Deepak was told to put his hand in the loop. But though Deepak did put his hand, but withdrew it the moment the noose tightened and started hurting his hand.

“I lost all hope at this time and contemplated suicide,” said father Madhav Singh, “what was the use of living when my boy, who came to us after three girls, was no more.” Fortunately, some of the wiser elements in the village persuaded him not to take the extreme step.

It was time for the experts to move in. Police, fire-brigade and medical team moved in. First oxygen was pumped in to ensure that Deepak had no problem breathing.

The entire area was lighted up and people took turns talking to Deepak to keep up his spirits. An excavator was called in and it started excavating the earth next to the hole, albeit carefully to ensure that Deepak was not hurt, and there was also the fear that the entire borewell might collapse.

The work continued for hours, excavating, removing the earth, talking to Deepak, changing oxygen cylinders and of course praying to God. In between Deepak fell asleep, demanded food and often cried.

CSP Amit Sanghi, who was present throughout said, “We thought we had lost the boy when the excavator struck some rocks around six feet from the hole. It would take too long to manually dig through the rocks and make a tunnel to reach the boy. So we took a risk and again used the excavator, but stopped two and half feet from the hole. Then we dug a tunnel manually, and at around 7 am we managed to grab Deepak’s hand, and soon we took him out.”

Amidst tears and kisses, Deepak was rushed to the Choithram Hospital, where he was given a through check-up. He had tea and biscuit and fell asleep on his mother’s lap, oblivious of the attention being showered on him. As for the grateful parents, they are calling it Deepak’s second birth and to propitiate the Gods, they plan to sacrifice a goat to Goddess Sitlamata, the reigning deity of the village.

First Published: Jan 27, 2006 23:34 IST