Speaking exclusively to Republic TV on Republic Day, as part of the special 'Proud To Be Indian’ broadcast, Mamata Rawat spoke about the challenges that she encountered while saving many lives during the Uttarakhand floods in 2013. First, Rawat described how she managed to rescue an old woman, physically carrying her for around 5 kilometres. Moreover, she saved the lives of many young trekkers in her capacity as a mountain guide. The Uttarakhand floods ravaged 4,200 villages killing approximately 6,000 people.
“The people who had come to Uttarakhand were my guests. In Garhwal, it is said- ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’. When I looked at the old lady, she reminded me of my mother. Many people were asking- ‘Who will come and rescue (this lady)? Then, I clarified that I was a local resident just like them and that it was not the time to fight. I lifted her and took her to the helipad. On the way, she vomited on me. Later, her relatives started to hug me. I said that it is enough for me that you reach home safely.”
“I was feeling pain in my back. I had suffered a slipped disc back then. But I did not think of my pain as it was my duty to safely escort my guests.”
About the trek, Mamata said, “We had gone for a famous trek. The weather was not good. We took them for a surprise dinner."
She continued, "Later when I got up at 2-3 am, I learned that the main bridge in my village had been destroyed. We did not try to scare the children that such a dangerous situation has developed. Later, we somehow managed to rescue the bus ferrying the children.”
“For me, the main thing was the children, whose responsibility was entrusted on me by their parents. I had to ensure that they reach home safely. At that juncture, I was not thinking about my house as everyone was waiting for their loved ones. It was my resolve to make sure that nothing happens to the children irrespective of what happens to me,” Mamata said.