The incessant rains that marred Mumbai marked 29 August as the wettest August day in the city in 20 years. Several Mumbaikars claimed to have revisited the 26 July 2005 deluge that paralysed the city.
Everything came to a standstill in the city that never sleeps with severe flooding and waterlogging. Local trains and flights were delayed and disrupted. While some spent the night at their workplace, others waded through knee and waist deep water to arrive home.
The rains may have paralysed the city, but failed to break the spirit of good samaritans who extended help in every way they could to help fellow Mumbaikars.
Here are seven instances when these good samaritans restored our faith in humanity:
1. The Rain hosts of Mumbai
Mumbaikars used the power of social media to extend maximum help through hashtags like #Rainhosts #MumbaiRains and opened up their homes to stranded citizens and provided them with shelter, food, clean clothes and water.
While OYO offered a free stay at select hotels, OLA offered free pool rides. Most people even collated spreadsheets on social media of helpline numbers and hosts with their locations.
2. Transcending borders of religion, several mosques, gurdwaras and temples opened their doors to stranded people of all faiths.
While the Diocesan Pastoral Center, opposite Mount Mary church in Bandra, provided free food and stay to people, the Chishti Hindustani Mosque in Central Mumbai’s Byculla, sheltered over 500 people from CST railway station and nearby areas.
Many donors came forward to arrange a simple dal-chawal meal for everyone.
3. Most stranded working individuals were offered meals by their employers and a place to stay the night at the office.
“Some of us went to Byculla station and even boarded a train for Kalyan, but the train didn’t move. After two hours we returned to office. The boss has arranged food which is coming from a nearby restaurant,” Amruta told Amruta Shinde who works for Al Khalid Tours and Travels at Byculla told TOI.
4. Akhtar Raza, who thought he might never reach home, decided to contact one of the Jamat Raza-e-Mustafa members for help, after receiving a WhatsApp forward.
Volunteer Mohammed Ahmed, rushed to the spot on his bike from Ghatkopar to Saki Naka and picked and dropped Akhtar at his doorstep in Kurla. Another volunteer, Worli resident Aarif Khan after answering calls by strangers helped almost seven people reach home on his bike.
5. When a 33-year-old pregnant journalist Urmila Dethe boarded a local at Dombivli, little did she imagine being stranded in the compartment for 12 hours.
While local Samaritans patrolling the waters and helping stranded citizens kept her well fed, it was only at 11.55 PM, that she was successfully rescued by the Mumbai Fire Brigade, who used a ladder to help her climb down.
“They actually picked me up like a small kid without letting me touch the water. I cannot thank them enough,” she told the Hindustan Times.
6. A Chunabhatti homemaker, Shobha was trapped in her car for six hours while driving to a hospital for her husband’s cancer treatment.
When her son, Swapnil, posted on Facebook seeking help, one of his friends in Dadar, opened his doors for the family.
7. The owner of Interlinks Banquet Hall at Neelkanth Business Park near Vidyavihar station, Harshad Parekh, invited Mumbaikars stranded in the vicinity to the hall to use the washroom, change out of their wet clothes and have some tea and refreshments.
If you or someone you know needs help, here’s where you can get in touch: Rainhosts.