English | Dzongkha Wednesday, October 27, 2021

‘Survived on nettle plants and wild fruits’ – the missing boys in Gelegphu

Sep 27, 2021

Sometimes, life may seem difficult, but there is always a way out of chaos, given the determination to not give up. This cannot be more true than the recent case of missing boys in Gelegphu and their search and rescue operations. After four days and nights of non-stop search operation, the boys are finally reunited with their family.

It was on 22nd September, a day before the Blessed Rainy Day – two students of one of the schools in Gelegphu took leave from the school and went to visit a waterfall at Raidangra hilltop, located about six hours walk from the Gelegphu town. Since then, their whereabouts became a mystery until yesterday.

According to the boys, they reached the waterfall, but while returning, the duo lost the way. They were supposed to reach Samtenling Gewog but they realized only later that they had reached the bank of the Mao River under Gelegphu Gewog.

“We climbed one mountain came across a similar stream that we visited earlier follow that way and made it to Maokhola. We could not cross the Mao river and spent one day there. The next day we climbed the mountain and tried making it to the previous route but due to hunger we stayed back,” said Sagar Rai, one of the boys.

The boys had become sailors without a boat.

On the other side of the Mao River, search teams, comprising the Police, Desuups, teachers, Thromde officials and community volunteers started their search operation. Divided into groups, the teams foraged the jungle, high and low.

The next few days and nights came crumbling on the lost boys. They survived on nettle plants and wild fruits.

“We had nettle plants for food by boiling in a flask we had taken, and other wild fruits,” he said.

Amid apprehensions of whether they could find their way back, the boys said they managed to reach a place with a mobile network on the second day. Then they informed their parents who then alerted the police. As advised by the police they remained at the same place, but when no one turned up, even after waiting for a day, the boys were mobile, again.

And by then, their phones were out of battery.

And towards afternoon on 26th September, on the fifth day of their missing, the boys finally met with one of the rescue teams at the Raidangra hilltop. The team, along with the boys reached the Raidangra village at around four in the evening.

A team of police and health officials directly rushed them to the hospital. After all the necessary medical checkups, they were reunited with their parents.

Meanwhile, some of the rescue teams reached the ground station only today.

Karma Wangdi, Gelegphu

Edited by Chayku

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