Major Nisheeet Dogra with wife Nikita Kumaria
Politics & Economy

Maj Dogra’s death was avoidable

Officer was trapped
under five to six feet of snow

A young Army officer died after being trapped under six feet of snow amid blizzard-like conditions in north Sikkim. The pain which everyone can feel is most visible in this tweet.

During snowfall and high winds in north Sikkim on February 9, it was discovered that Major Nisheet Dogra was missing.

Major Dogra was then found trapped under five to six feet of snow. The officer was given immediate medical aid. However, around midnight, the brave heart lost the battle of life and attained martyrdom in the line of duty.

The untimely demise of Major Nisheet Dogra while manning along the China border has come as a great shock for his family and the army fraternity.

Army has to face many adversaries

Nature is the most powerful adversary that any army has to face. It is furious, in-calculative and leaves an imprint of the havoc it creates.

To put on record the fact, the war against the nature, or one may say, wishes of the nature has never yielded a positive outcome in which so ever way possible.

Somewhere, the high altitude terrain is arid with wind as fast as 70 kmph, other places imbalanced snow and rain pattern, and many other places make you want to never come again.

The tree line ends at 12000 ft forcing the men deployed there to acclimatise and prepare the body for duty even with oxygen at 6 to 7 per cent in atmosphere instead of 21.

The sunshine on snow peaks is potent enough to blind anyone, had those goggles been not there.

Therefore, being counted as highly professional army, the planning and the execution are the two most important factors which project us on the parameter of competence.

The fact that continues to project defence forces for its skill and credibility is supported by the human brain and muscle behind it; a loss to any of which can never be replaced and most importantly, be avoided.

Nature’s fury compounded by the lack of major life saving facilities, impacts in ways beyond comprehension.

The tragic incident of a powerful avalanche targeting the camp and claiming these human mind and muscle, boosted by zero visibility even during the brightest time of the day, made the heli cas-evac process a total non viable option.

It is therefore, the planning and execution for these once in a blue moon event that will provide inner stability and strength to the Armed Forces.

What went wrong

If you see the terrain, it will be very easy to comprehend what went wrong and why the life of the affected personnel were lost as the peers cursed themselves for not being able to do anything.

A medical support apparatus which exists at these high altitudes is capable to keep a check and stabilise a patient with high altitude sickness. 

There is variety of ailment which highlanders face in this terrain and the only solution to it is bringing the patient down to lower altitudes.

Even a medical specialist at 12000 ft and above faces a lot of issues in handling and stabilising the affected. A well thought approach to avoid the recent causality due to avalanche, is the need of the hour.

Management of crisis is no glory, avoiding it is. It is about time now that we become more compassionate and mindful while planning and executing for the administrative requirements of our armed forces and deliberate on the safety, security, layouts and each and every matter of the existence in these inhospitable terrain.

Major Nisheeet Dogra with wife Nikita Kumaria

Major Nisheet Dogra’s death was tragic, untimely and highly avoidable. The young man had dreams that he shall never realise now. He is survived by a wife whom he had married not a year ago.

A soldier has a strong will to fight for his motherland and not lay down his life so unexpectedly and in tragedy. The least we can do for the armed forces is stand up with them with a motive to bring about a change which takes care of avoidable tragedies because a life lost always hits a family, an organisation and a nation.

Weather conditions can create situations which cannot easily be appreciated unless one has actually seen these. And then ways and means are somehow always found even in life threatening conditions.