The Great Indian ‘Jugaad’ Rescue

A million dollar rescue machine or “semi-skilled” resources? Most of us would choose the first option for a rescue mission. The rescue of 41 miners by “rat miners” turns conventional wisdom on its head. The learnings are immense:

We often need a multi-pronged approach, that will get the job done. The heavy duty technology, created the path; manpower with relevant skills completed the job.

The rescue effort was a multi-agency collaboration-National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), the Indian Army, local authorities, experts most notably, Chris Cooper (Micro-tunnelling expert), Tunnelling expert Arnold Dix, Retired Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain. Completely different approaches, yet worked together to achieve success.

In an effort that took over 24 hours, the miners worked in two teams of three each, with one person drilling, the second collecting the debris and the third pushing it out of the pipe. It was boiling hot and there were no special suits for protection. Yet the teams worked non-stop till the miners were rescued. Ownership of the task, without considering personal benefits.

A fantastic example of leadership, collaboration and working with a solutions mindset, to achieve a difficult goal.