Every once in a while we come across stories that restore our faith in humanity and make us smile. This tale of an autorickshaw driver in Pune will do just that.
Sylvester Anthony, a 47-year-old rickshaw driver, considers himself to be just an ordinary auto driver who is busy ferrying people from one place to another. However, what makes him stand apart is his accessibility and willingness to help.
At a time when many of us complain about autorickshaw drivers fleecing us and being rude, Sylvester is not just a breath of fresh air but has time and again proved that not everyone should be viewed with the same lens.
Sylvester’s number is always on and students call him at all times of the day and night. A St Patrick’s alumnus, Sylvester completed his 10th standard and went on to do menial jobs before he by chance took his father’s auto rickshaw one day.
The charm of meeting new people, striking up conversations, and helping them is what keeps him motivated.
Sylvester’s day usually begins at about 7.00 p.m., and he is working until the wee hours of the morning when students usually return after their night jaunts and parties.
“Students come to the party in Koregaon Park and Vimannagar. They normally dutch for the entry and food. Many a time, they are left with no money while returning home. I am fluent in English and understand their conversation. I offer to help by buying them a Vada Pav or giving them some money. The best part is they call me the next day and return the money. I have never come across any miscreants,” he told Hindustan Times.
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Over the last eight years of driving the auto rickshaw, Sylvester has many loyal customers who call him often.
“I travelled in Sylvester’s auto rickshaw once. He is extremely friendly and helpful. He speaks fluently in English and engages in a good conversation. I have seen him help people and ferry them for free too. He was kind enough to ferry me at 12 am from Koregaon Park after an event,” said Payal Chitkote, a student and one of Sylvester’s customers said in a report in Hindustan Times.
Sylvester’s dream, however, is to eventually open his own hotel in the city.
If you are in Pune and need a ride back home or just want to meet this knight in yellow and black armour, then you can reach him at +91-9225541915.