Editorial: Rat-Hole Miner Treated Like A Rat!

Editorial: Rat-Hole Miner Treated Like A Rat!

FPJ EditorialUpdated: Friday, March 01, 2024, 11:36 AM IST
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The rubble of Wakeel Hassan's home | File Pic

In a world where heroes are usually showered with accolades and ticker tape parades, enter Wakeel Hassan, a man who defied the odds with his team of rat miners to rescue 41 tunnel workers from a caved-in tunnel under construction in Uttarakhand. In November 2023, when modern technology threw its hands up in defeat, Hassan and his crew, armed with little more than rudimentary tools, became the nation’s beacon of hope. During those 17 nail-biting days, the whole country held its collective breathbut Hassan, with his trusty but unassuming hand-held drilling machines, had the nation rallying behind him and his comrades. A real-life saga that left everyone digging for a glimmer of optimism, one hole at a time.

Yet, when it came to recognition, Hassan and his crew were not about to let fame get to their heads. Offers of honours and rewards were shrugged off like dust on their drilling gear. Their selfless act, they insisted, was merely duty to the motherland. However, in a plot twist worthy of a Bollywood drama, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) on Wednesday sent a bulldozer to Hassan’s house without a shred of warning. With his humble abode reduced to rubble, Hassan, his wife, and kids found themselves roadside refugees. Despite assurances from a local MP about a house under the Prime Minister’s Awas Yojana, Hassan isn’t ready to stake his future on vague promises akin to words written in water. So, in a nation that celebrates heroes one day and razes their homes the next, Wakeel Hassan remains the unsung hero, standing tall amidst the rubble of broken promises and bureaucratic bulldozers.

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