The world literally held its breath as elite Thai Navy Seals rescued 12 boys of a soccer team and their coach trapped in a cave in northern Thailand for 17 days. It was a complex job as the 4-km route was of jagged, narrow, dangerous, dark passageways and many boys who didn’t know how to swim had to be given elementary training to negotiate the muddy waters. The incident, which had a happy ending, showed that the world was one in its concern for the safety of the boys, between 11 and 16, and their 25-year-old coach. Prayers and suggestions came from diverse quarters. A miner in Chile who had the same experience advised the boys to be brave and not be afraid to cry. Tesla chief Elon Musk flew personally to Thailand and left a kid-sized submarine at the cave to help rescue the boys, though it couldn’t be used.
Such cooperation brings back the humanity that is all-pervasive in the world, and eclipses the hatred and inclusiveness preached by some. Trade wars faded into the background as such an operation shone like a beacon of light. It’s said evil is more powerful than good, but this case disproves the theory. Such occasions remind us of the need to honour and respect the brave souls who carry out such rescue missions. India has a national disaster management team that has rushed to the rescue in bridge collapses and the like. As the Navy’s slogan says, the country can sleep peacefully because of them, and this is also true of disaster teams who rescue helpless and trapped individuals.