Shillong, Sept 12: Sohra MLA, Gavin M Mylliem has suggested the Meghalaya government to formulate a policy for honouring individuals with bravery acts and unique skills in rescuing people and tracing missing bodies in rivers, as well as consider a special case for recruitment of such people in the State Police or State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) in order to recognise and utilise their services.
Rivers in Khasi Hills of Meghalaya have witnessed numerous incidents of people including foreign tourists washed away by strong currents of rivers. On many occasions their bodies were located and recovered by local volunteers.
Moving a discussion during Zero Hour in Assembly on Thursday, the Sohra MLA referred his discussion to the incident on August 15 where two cousin brothers – Harry Khongbuh and Arthur Kyrmen Khongbuh died in Kyllang river at Laitlyngkot.
The MLA explained about rescue operations that took time in locating the bodies despite continued efforts put in by the SDRF personnel.
Mylliem however said that the it was on August 20, the dead bodies of the two youths carried away by the strong currents of Kyllang river were located and recovered with the help of four volunteers from Khat-arshnong village – Tangait Khongshei, Tarsan Khongshei, Ridenstar Mawpat and Mnian Khongsit.
Lauding the four volunteers, Mylliem said, “these four men, despite great odds and without any kind of equipment whatsoever, had exhibited tremendous courage and unique skills that led to the recovery of the two unfortunate victims.”
Urging the government to recommend the four volunteers for a ‘bravery award’ to encourage and in a way to express gratitude to them for their selfless service, the MLA said, these volunteers have done such acts several times earlier too which were somehow not covered by the media.
“The state government should seriously think of instituting such bravery award henceforth,” he said.
At the same time, Mylliem urged the government to provide specialised training to the SDRF personnel so as to enhance their skills and efficiency. “The SDRF personnel are the first responders, and it is expected that such teams would have the basic expertise for tackling such situation,” he said.
Stressing that the services of such persons with special skills should be utilized by the government, Mylliem suggested the government to bring a policy to make a special case for recruitment in the state police or SDRF of such rare individuals who can make a significant contribution in the state.
“It would be most appropriate if these four individuals may be considered, if necessary, even by making specific relaxation of educational qualification or age, so that they can be appointed in the government just for such eventualities in future,” the Sohra MLA said.
Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma in his reply, lauded the Sohra MLA for giving such a good suggestions, and assured that the government would examine the suggestions given by the MLA.