The Indian Army is highly regarded for its professionalism, and humane approach. Three Chinese nationals, who got stranded at high altitude in Sikkim got a taste of the Indian Army’s professionalism and humane nature when their Volkswagen Tayron 330 TSI SUV broke down. The Chinese nationals strayed into Indian territory after losing their way and to add to their woes, their SUV broke down, leaving them stranded at 17,100 feet, in extreme climatic conditions.
The Indian Army swung into action, and provided timely medical assistance to the Chinese nationals and helped them get back to their country. The Indian Army mobilized oxygen for the stranded Chinese nationals, apart from helping them fix their SUV and also provided the travelers food.
India and China share a border in Sikkim, a mountainous frontier state of India that has seen clashes between the Indian army and Chinese army at high altitude mountain passes of Nathu La and Cho La.
Such incidents of tourists getting stranded at high altitude is not uncommon. It’s very easy to lose way and sense of direction in the upper reaches of the Himalayas, where visibility is poor, weather conditions are rapidly changing and cellphone network is nearly non-existent. A few hours of exposure at high altitudes can cause death. Also, the risk of acute mountain sickness – a life threatening condition caused due to difficulty in the human body adjusting to lower oxygen pressure at high altitude – is real. This makes travel to high mountain passes quite risky, especially when adequate precautions are not taken. Had the Indian Army not intervened in time and rescued the Chinese tourists, things could have taken a very bad turn for the stranded Chinese nationals.