Dharwad, Karnataka: "It is a rebirth for all of us," said Mahadevi, wife of Lance Naik Hanumanthappa Koppad, with a sense of relief as the family reacted to the news of his miraculous survival after remaining buried under snow for six days at Siachen Glacier.
"My husband's grandmother inspired him in his life. Her prayers saved him from certain death in Siachen. It is a
rebirth for all of us," Mahadevi, residing at Betadur village in Kundagol taluk of Dharwad district, said.
Hanumanthappa, who hails from Karnataka, was found alive on Monday after being buried under 25 feet of snow for six
days following an avalanche that had hit his post at an altitude of 19,600 feet where the temperature was minus 45
Mahadevi said the family was going through a painful ordeal after the members came to know of the tragedy, but the
news of his survival brought smiles back on faces.
"We were going through a painful ordeal after the avalanche struck...The news of his survival brought smiles back on our faces. We were all crying and almost lost hope. I didn't know what to do - I have one-and-half-year old girl child," she said.
Eshwar, Hanamanthappa's cousin, praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for visiting Koppad who is on a ventillator at
the Army's Research and Referral Hospital in New Delhi.
"What should I say about the gesture Modi has shown to a simple soldier. It is heartening that a person who is Prime Minister of India visited him," he told PTI.
Eshwar also appreciated the concern shown by Army officials who had visited the family members and gave hope of
"The army officials had visited us and instilled hope by saying 'don't worry, nothing will happen. The Army had said will find him out and retrieve him alive from the glacier," he said.
The family of six members left for Goa from where they would take a flight to Delhi in the evening to be with
Hanamanthappa who is critical, Eshwar said.
Eshwar said the entire Betadur village greeted the news of survival of Hanumanthappa with a sense of relief.
"Some of them were offering prayers in temples for Hanumathappa's survival. They were happy when they realised
their prayers have been heard by the Almighty," he said.
Meanwhile, noted Karnataka-based industrialist and MP Rajiv Chandrasekhar has announced he would take care of the
travel and accommodation of Hanumanthappa's family in New Delhi.
Chandrasekhar said in a statement said that "all the help that the family of the injured soldier requires will be taken care of to assist them in this hour of anxiety and worry."
He also prayed for Hanamanthappa's speedy recovery and support to his family in the hour crisis.
"My heartfelt prayers for a speedy recovery and support to his family at this hour. I salute the soldier and hope he recovers soon," he said.
He also joined the nation in grieving the death of other nine soldiers in the natural disaster.
"Our soldiers of the Indian Armed forces guard the nation at Siachen – the world’s highest battleground 24 x7 braving not only enemy hostility but also the harsh and inhospitable weather," he said.