Rat-Hole Miners received love from the whole country but nothing from the Central and State governments. They deserve a heroic welcome like that of sportsmen returning to New Delhi after winning gold at the Olympic. Saving lives is even more important than winning gold medals.
– Mohd. Naushad Khan
New Delhi, Dec. 12: Rat-hole miners who were recently acclaimed by one and all as the heroes of India and received love from the entire country for saving lives of 41 labors trapped inside a tunnel in Uttarakhand are worried and anxious these days because they believe despite the people of entire country lauded their role, the governments of Uttarakhand, Delhi as well as the Central government have not done anything to make their life secured.
It seems their act of bravery would fade away fast and go in vain. The governments should help them make their life secured so that they can support their families in better ways and provide quality education for their children. What will be the use of heroic treatment to them if they are back to square one after some time?
They should be honored by conferring bravery awards on the eve of the Republic Day. They deserve a heroic welcome like that of sportsmen returning to New Delhi after winning gold at the Olympic. Saving lives is even more important than winning gold medals.
Munna Qureshi, one of the rat-hole miners who along with Wakeel Khan was declared a hero of India by many news channels, told Radiance, “The people of India lauded our efforts and we are very happy about it but at the same time we are worried that neither the Delhi government nor the central government has done anything for us to make our life secured and provide better education for our children so that they can contribute towards nation building.”
Munna, while sharing his feelings when he was entering the tunnel, said, “When I was going inside the tunnel along with other miners, I was reminded of my three small children who were alone at home. I have a daughter who is four years old and two sons of seven and nine years. I never leave them alone and used to take them along wherever I went because I had lost my wife during the pandemic. Even this time too they wanted me to take them along but I convinced them to stay at home. But then I heard the voice of my conscience telling me repeatedly that all those 41 persons trapped inside have also their families waiting for them to reach home.”
“I along with others decided to save the lives of those workers at any cost, even at the cost of our lives. It was very dangerous; our lives were really at stake. We behaved like soldiers on borders and saved their lives while putting our own lives at great risk. It was related to the prestige of India and India’s prestige is our prestige. It gave us courage and confidence to do something for the sake of India. Once we entered inside the tunnel, we never looked back,” he further said.
“We were very happy when we returned after having seen the love, support, and blessings from everywhere on media platforms, YouTube channels, social media. But very soon we realized that it was just lip service as the government did nothing for us. We did it in 26 hours but the government has not reciprocated our selfless service for the welfare of the people and love for our nation,” Munna added.
“The government, it seems, has ignored us now. It should do something for us to keep our spirits and confidence high. The Chief Minister of Delhi had no time to meet us; we were told to meet someone and we were not aware of him. We put our lives at risk and left no stone unturned to save their lives but have not been reciprocated with the same gesture. It looks like we have done nothing. If they have respect for our work, they should make our lives secure to make us live a better life. Simply heroic gesture will not make our life secured,” he lamented.
“In response to our service to the nation, we expect our prime minister to reach out to us, boost our morale, praise our efforts, and put his hand on the heads of our children. But nothing of the sort has happened so far. Even if we don’t receive anything from our governments, we will always remain on standby for any such work in the future whenever the prestige of our country is at stake. We were invited by former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow and provided with a cheque worth Rs. one lakh,” Munna Qureshi said.
Another rat-hole miner Wakeel Hasan said, “Be it the Delhi government or Central government, they don’t even realize the greatness of the work done there by our team of rat-hole miners. We have been welcomed by many, including Dr Farooq, president of Himalya Drugs, Indian Idol Academy Mumbai and many others but no invitation from Delhi or Central government.”
Wakeel added, “We want our children to become assets for this country and contribute to nation-building by following our footsteps.”