Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel carried an ailing tribal woman on a make-shift stretcher on foot for about seven kilometres in the Naxal-affected Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh.
A team of CRPF personnel from 195th Battalion was returning on Sunday after an anti-Maoist operation in the limits of Katekalyan police station when they spotted a woman, around 40 years old, lying by roadside at Naynar village.
“When they made inquiry, the woman, named Kosi, murmured that she had high fever,” said a CRPF official.
While her husband and relatives were away, her children, including a two-month-old baby, were near her and crying.
Airlifting her by helicopter was not possible as the village is surrounded by hills, and summoning an ambulance would have been of no use as the only road linking the village with outside world has been damaged by Naxals, he said.
The CRPF men then made a stretcher of sticks and carried her and the baby on shoulders for seven km, crossing hills and a river, to reach Gatam village.
From Gatam, an ambulance took her to the community health centre at Katekalyan in the district.
“The woman and her baby are now in hospital, under close supervision of specialists,” the official said.
The CRPF, deployed extensively in Chhattisgarh for anti-Maoist operations, has set up four ‘field hospitals’ in Bastar division — three in Sukma and one in Bijapur districts — which cater to the local people too apart from its own personnel, he said.