Lieutenant-Colonel Parasanali Bapu, the only veterinary surgeon serving with U.N. peacekeepers in south Lebanon, plays with a dog after giving it a rabies injection outside the U.N. Indian battalion headquarters in Ible al-Saqi.
Lieutenant-Colonel Bapu checks a cow wounded by shrapnel in Israel’s war with Hezbollah guerrillas.
“Major Saurabh Pandey, spokesman for the contingent, believes locals value the role of the Indian troops, who stayed during the war despite intense bombing and shelling. During lulls, the Indians delivered food and water to villagers, arranged evacuations and provided medical care. “This way we have been able to touch their hearts,” Pandey says at the battalion’s headquarters near the village of Ibl al-Saqi.“It was not very obvious before the conflict in certain places, but afterwards you go to any place and people are smiling and waving. Kids turn up and say, ‘Indian, Indian’ or ‘UN, UN’, and they shake hands. It’s a very welcome change.”
Lieutenant-Colonel Bapu, who returns to Bangalore after a 12-month tour next month, has trained villagers to give injections and medicine to their animals, skills he hopes they will retain when he is gone.
“After the war, help was pouring in for people to rebuild their houses but no help came for the animals,” he says.
“The greatest satisfaction is I was there with medicines, running around able to save them.”
Full story in Reuters, a must read!