In village Vadala-Vadali,120 km from Aurangabad in Maharashtra,local residents gathered outside the house of National Disaster Response Force constable Ganesh Ahirrao,waiting for his body to arrive. It would reach on Friday,they were told. Ahirrao died in a chopper crash during the rescue operations in Uttarakhand.
Two NDRF personnel visited his house to collect blood samples of his father,brother and sister. His body is charred beyond recognition and DNA sample needs to be matched to identify him,the family was informed.
Majority of the lights in the village remained switched off and no one cooked food at home. Martyr Ganesh Ahirrao said posters pasted on village walls. Ahirraos father is proud that his son lost his life while serving the nation. Ahirraos wife Yogita was staying with him in Ghaziabad. Their three-year-old son Vansh and nine-month-old daughter Peeyu have been inconsolable,the villagers said.
Since June 17,when the 30- year-old NDRF Constable told his family that he was part of the rescue operations,the television has not been switched off in his house. The TV channels said that his body was charred and will take time to reach, said his father. He had called me on June 24 at 2 pm and said that he was in Kedarnath. He told me that he has been rescuing people day and night. He had not had food and water for days and instead was surviving on biscuits, he said.
Ahirrao joined the Indo-Tibetan- Border Police in 2004,after being trained at the Panchkula post.
He was posted at Sikkim,Gaucher,Uttarkashi and a few other locations. In 2011,he was attached with the Ghaziabad-based 8 NDRF Battalion and was sent to rescue people stranded in Uttarakhand.
He is one of the 55 men from the village to have joined the forces, said one of the villagers. In 2010,the village lost 25- year-old Sopan Amle,a CRPF personnel,in a Maoist attack in Dantewada. His memorial stands next to his house in the village.