Retired Brigadier BD Mishra, who is the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh, overheard a conversation between Chief Minister Pema Khandu and a local MLA. The three were at an official programme in Tawang on Wednesday, 28 November, where the MLA was telling the CM that a patient was in a critical condition and needed immediate medical attention.
The patient, as it turns out, was a pregnant lady who was facing complications. She needed to be taken to a hospital in the state’s capital, Itanagar. By road, the distance between Tawang and Itanagar is over 400 km. Add to it the hilly terrain of Arunachal Pradesh where the 13-hour ride would have added to the patient’s pain.
By air, the same distance takes about two hours, but as the MLA was informing, there was no helicopter service available in that area for the coming three days.
When Brig Mishra heard this, he immediately offered to take the patient and her husband in his helicopter to the state capital. He also assured them that the two officers who had travelled to Tawang with him would stay there to accommodate the couple in the helicopter.
The helicopter did not have enough fuel to travel to Itanagar and so had to take a stop at Tezpur in Assam. There, the pilot noticed a technical snag in the chopper and informed the ex-army officer.
The patient was still in distress, and Mishra was concerned about her.
Without hesitating a moment, he requested a different helicopter from the Air Officer Commanding the Tezpur Air Force Station.
While this chopper was on the way, he also arranged for an ambulance and a female gynaecologist to meet them at Raj Bhavan helipad so that no crucial time would be wasted on their way to the hospital.
With several hours saved, the lady safely reached a hospital where she underwent successful surgery.
The Arunachal Pradesh Governor is also a war veteran who served in a number of wars. In 1993, he was the Commander of the Black Cat Commandos Counter Hijack Force that rescued 124 travellers from a hijacked aircraft in Amritsar. He even volunteered for the Kargil War about four years after his retirement. A war hero and a compassionate governor, Mr Mishra certainly gets all our respect!
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)