|Sqn Ldr||Hari Nath Chaturvedi 11161 MED||Unit : -N.A.-||Award Date 26 Jan 83||Announced 26 Jan 84|
|Details :|| |
Squadron Leader Hari Nath Chaturvedi VM (11161) Medical, was selected as a medical officer o the Second Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica 1982-83 where he organised the medical facilities during the entire expedition, under extremely unfavourable weather conditions.
On the 19th February, 1983, when only three scientists remained at the Antarctica Base Camp, Squadron Ldr Chaturvedi volunteered to stay back at the camp rather than return to the relative comforts of the ship. During the early hours of the morning, the camp was struck by a severe blizzard with a wind velocity of 130 Kmph, when the visibility became almost zero and temperatures fell to -15Â°C. Within minutes the entire camp was a scene of utter destruction and devastation. All the tents housing the scientific equipment and kitchen were uprooted and buried under layers of snow. Even the permanent hut erected there was no match to the fury of the blizzard, as both of its doors flew away permitting an unrestricted entry of snow and wind. Venturing out, even from this meagre shelter was fraught with the danger of being hit by camp stores flying around, and getting lost due to the zero visibility.
Squadron Leader Chaturvedi, in utter disregard to his personal safety and at great peril to his own life, tied himself to the end of a long rope, anchored to the hut, and went from ravaged tent to the other, trying to salvage and keep in safety whatever equipment and stores he could.
By nightfall, one of the members became seriously ill and started vomiting and another started showing signs of hypothermia. The medicine box could not be traced during the earlier attempts. Sqn Ldr Chaturvedi though himself exhausted, again wet out and by sheer determination and dedication was successful in retrieving the medicines which he administered to the ailing members and kept a vigil on them till they improved.
The entire nightmare of the blizzard lasted for fifty-two hours. During this entire period, with very limited and almost no shelter, Sqn Ldr Chaturvedi displayed extreme prof essionalism of the highest kind and a sense of devotion to duty beyond call. But for his initiative and courage, most of the sophisticated and extremely costly scientific equipment would have been destroyed and the invaluable data collected ad recorded during the entire period of the expedition lost.
Squadron Leader Hari Nath Chaturvedi thus displayed exceptional courage, conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty of a very high order.
|Reference:||Gazette of India , 24th March 1984 - No.24 - Pres/84 dated 26th January 1984|