PATNA: He is the “Real Hero” of Bihar who saved at least 12 lives when an overcrowded country boat capsized in river Ganga in Patna on Saturday evening.
Meet 30-year-old Ajay Shankar Chaudhary, a staff posted at MV Kautilya Vihar being operated by the Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation.
Once he saw the people drowning in the river, he first threw life jackets and ropes in the water to save them but the idea didn’t help much.
Initially, he hesitated from jumping into the chilled water of the river on the day when the minimum temperature was recorded at 4.5 degree Celsius but finally he couldn’t stop himself and dived into the river to save the drowning people.
“I faced a lot of difficulties owing to the chilled water of the river. I felt as if my body has got frozen. Quite many a time I myself escaped death as the drowning people jumped on my shoulder in a bid to save themselves. Somehow, I saved myself and rescued at least 12 of them one by one,” Ajay told the media today.
“Although I couldn’t save all but I feel proud to save many lives,” says Ajay with a sense of contentment on his face adding he was able to save many of them since he jumped into the water without life jacket.
At least 25 people died when an overcrowded boat sank in the river near the NIT ghat in Patna. The victims were returning after participating in the kite flying festival organized by the state tourism department on the sandy beds of the river when they met watery grave.
Chief minister Nitish Kumar while taking the matter seriously has announced the officials responsible for the tragedy will not be spared at any cost.
He also has ordered an inquiry into the incident and the officials tasked with the probe responsibility have been directed to probe the incident from all angles.
Reports said more than 70 people were riding the ill-fated boat having the capacity to a maximum of 40 people. The Opposition parties have in Bihar have blamed government’s negligence for the incident.
This is the third major tragedy in Patna on the occasion of major festivals. Earlier in 2012, 22 (twenty two) pilgrims had died after a stampede took place during Chhath in Patna. In 2014 again, another 33 people were killed in a stampede during Dussehra in Patna’s Gandhi Maidan.
Image Courtesy: Prabhat Khabar