Gangtok, 08 October: Dawa Tshering Tongden Lepcha, a 35-year-old resident of Lower Samdong in East Sikkim, displayed unwavering dedication to his duty and a profound sense of sacrifice that cost him his life. He served as a staff member at the Aapdara NHPC Teesta Stage V Damsite in Dikchu.
Tragedy struck on the fateful day of October 4th when a catastrophic event unfolded.
A destructive torrent of water surged downstream as a result of the Lhonak Lake Outburst, causing significant damage to the Sikkim Urja Dam in Chungthang. Dawa Tshering Tongden Lepcha witnessed this perilous situation while on duty inside a barrack located on the rooftop of the dam.
Without a moment’s hesitation, he sprang into action, realizing the impending danger. Dawa Tshering Tongden Lepcha swiftly opened the gates of NHPC Teesta Stage V in Dikchu, risking his own life to prevent a devastating collision that could have resulted in even more catastrophic consequences downstream, affecting areas like Singtam and Rangpo.
Staff stationed at the dam site, vividly recalls how Dawa’s quick decision saved countless lives. Tragically, in the process of carrying out this heroic act, Dawa Tshering Tongden Lepcha came into contact with a high-voltage line, which ultimately led to his untimely demise.
Late Dawa Tshering Tongden Lepcha’s act of heroism and bravery serves as a poignant reminder of the selflessness that resides within humanity. His sacrifice, made in the face of danger, has undoubtedly saved numerous lives that might have otherwise been lost in the October 4th flash flood.
Rongzong Lepcha, the brother of the late Dawa Tshering Tongden Lepcha, understandably feels immense pride in his late brother, who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect others.
Dawa Tshering Tongden Lepcha leaves behind a grieving family, including his wife, Gita Kumari Rai, and their children, daughter Nayalmit Lepcha (13) and son Lyang Tsong Lepcha (08).
The heroic sacrifice of Dawa Tshering Tongden Lepcha will forever be remembered, as he fearlessly put the lives of others before his own on that fateful day of the October 4th flash flood.
Report by Joseph Lepcha