Hatilung village, Lakhimpur district, Assam was badly affected by floods this year in July. The main reason was that of a sudden overflow of water from a neighbouring dam in Arunachal Pradesh.
One day, by early morning, the water levels breached the trees by almost three feet. One after the other, crops were destroyed and the water began entering the homes. The water was at waist level by 10 am and evacuation was in progress. It was a moving sight - men gathered what remained of their huts and women carried some of their belongings and valuables on their heads.
Pinki Gogoi and Pujashree Gogoi, two young girls from the village who were adept at rafting maneuvred a banana raft in the water and started helping people cross the waters and reach a safe place. got into action and started to save people across the waters and reach safe land.
Pinki and Pujashree completed their BA this year. Both had learnt how to use a banana raft in their childhood as their village is a flood-prone, and also witnessed floods in 2008.
Speaking with The Telegraph, Pinki Gogoi said,
"Four to five people can get onto a plantain raft. I saw Mridu aunty and Sarumai aunty dangerously wading and so I asked them to get on our raft. It is always safe to sit on the raft as it helps to maintain balance in the current. I didn't count but it would be around 25-30 people."
Needless to say, news of the duo's presence of mind and selfless action reached all corners of the region and even compelled the Governor of Assam to write to the government to recognise the two girls with bravery awards.
Bikash Kumar Das, a former IAF sergeant and chairman of the Freedom Fighter Paniram Das Foundation told The Telegraph,
"It is difficult to maintain balance on a banana raft in such a strong current of floodwater. So what the two young girls have done was an act of bravery. If these two girls are given the bravery awards, more young people will be encouraged to help people in emergency situations."