The courageous Women who rescued hundreds in the Indian floods
Amongst the devastation and pain which was caused by India’s flooding in 2013, one woman’s courage and strength was able to shine through. She is finally acknowledged as the unsung hero she has so long been.
Mamta Rawat, a 24-year-old woman, was responsible for rescuing hundreds of her local villagers during the 2013 floods that claimed the lives of more than 5,000 people.
After rescuing a group of students who were stuck during a trek, she was flooded with requests from concerned family members to help save many other stranded individuals. She ignored her own problems, such as her house which had been washed away, and braved the floods, carrying an elderly woman 3km up a mountain to be evacuated by helicopter.
Mamta grew up in the mountains and had been using her extensive knowledge of the area to work as a guide taking tourists into the mountain range.
During the climbing season, she is able to earn a total of 10,000 rupees, which is a big help in supporting her family of six. During the rest of the year, she struggles to earn 5,000 rupees.
Due to damage from the floods, the local area lost a lot of the infrastructure, building,s and landmarks that once attracted tourists from around the world, and locals are struggling now since their main income source is gone.
In recent years, Mamut has contributed a lot to the local community. As well as helping develop infrastructure like traditional houses and restaurants to attract tourists, she is helping educate the young women of the area.
She is fighting to remove the idea that the mountains are meant for men only and is helping other women support and care for their families, wanting to prove her worth to those who criticized her at the beginning.
“I am happy that all those who criticized me for going out to earn a living and doing a work that a man should do, now stand with me. They felt happy when my work was recognized by the newspapers in Uttarakhand. Everyone came and appreciated my work. Now they want their daughters to be like me,” says the smiling Mamut.
Photo Credits: Daniel J. Rao