Vidya Bhushan Rawat
The ordeal of 12 soccer playing children and their coach who were trapped in a cave has ended yesterday successfully when cave divers from different countries joined hand to rescue these children along with their assistant coach. What was being perceived as impossible was made successful by a massive operation launched by Thai Navy Seal along with many others who had extended their support in this exercise which was being watched world over.
As reported in various newspapers, these children along with their coach had gone to there after a coaching session and had thought that they would return by the evening. All of them had gone on their cycles but little did they know that the cave they were entering in would become the biggest challenge to their lives. They entered the cave along with their coach and got trapped there perhaps because of rains as the water level increased inside. All of them were just sitting on a small 'island' of rock inside the cave.
Spirit to live life
The spirit to live life is very important. Perhaps, they never lost hope. Even inside that dark patch when people would cry these children along with their coach were sitting silent, meditating till two British divers found them and reported about them to the Thai authorities.
One of the biggest rescue operations
This was a herculean task as entering the cave with equipment and all the logistics was the biggest challenge. In this operation around 90 divers were used. The story will definitely be termed as one of the biggest rescue operations and victory of human spirit and nearly after two weeks these 12 children along with their coach have been rescued and are being treated in a specialised hospital. In the entire operation one brave diver belonging to Thai Navy lost his life. We salute to all the workers of the rescue mission who worked tirelessly in such difficult circumstances and specific time limit because any delay would have resulted in possibility of losing the children or the coach. That is what we called time management.
While the Thai Navy Seals and other need to be applauded and all the international support in this task that well did not depend on 'God' to rescue but totally the human spirit, we need to also appreciate and learn from the dedicated coach Ekapol Chanthawong, the 25 years old former monk who loved the children more than his life. That in all these 12 days, it was he who shared his own food with the children and trained them in meditation to face the most traumatic moments of their lives. Those who have witnessed and followed this story were surprised who these 12 children along with their coach were sitting absolutely silent with no fear on their faces. Imagine, for 12 days any one is left in a dark island surrounded by water and no other visibility, no mountain, no sky, no stars, no moon, no sun. Can we imagine our day without any of these things ?
Ekapol Chanthawong must be appreciated
Yes, Ekapol Chanthawong must be appreciated for his dedication towards these children which is rare these days when death stare at you, the attempt is to protect yourself but he remained attached to his children. How did he get that dedication as a coach. The story of Ekapol is like any one of us who lose our childhood and the world become their family. Ekapol had lost his parents in his early childhood and he was taken care by a Buddhist monk who brought him to a monastery. Here he learnt all meditation techniques and other important aspect of Buddhism. I can’t vouch but seeing these children and him, their absolute bravery or patient made me feel that there was something in this man which brought them together.
In Thailand many were initially thinking that it was the fault of Ekapol to take children to cave and endangering their lives. It might be possible but then I don’t think that he took them to deliberately risk their lives. If that were the case and if he had known this earlier, he would have disappeared first leaving them but all of them sticked together is an example for the world that human spirit survives and Ekapol, the coach, is the symbol of that.
Is it the Buddhist impact that the children became strong to face this trauma ? I don’t know but given the information coming in, meditation might have played an important role apart from the big role of the coach Ekapol who was not too old, just 25 years old. Definitely, Buddha gave us various methods and ideas to face the difficult moments of life that is why Baba Saheb Ambedkar wanted us to follow his path. Thailand's event will generate further interest on this issue that human lives will remain dull without adventure and things will not end here. The spirit of working together to save children for which people all over the world showed solidarity is extraordinary. Let this sanity prevail where we learn to not only celebrate but also share the pains and happiness of people around the world irrespective of their nationalities and such identities. At the end, we all are human being and enjoying the bounties of nature and the result of the hard work of scientists whose nationalities, caste and religious identity we don’t know. The spirit of working together beyond the narrow confine of nationalities and particular identities is the biggest achievement of modern science and its achievements which need to be shared, democratised and not monopolised. At the moment, greetings to all the children, their coach and all other who made this rescue operation to succeed.