The morning of July 3rd, 2018, saw an unfortunate tragedy where a 60 m section of the road-over-bridge in Andheri, Mumbai, collapsed onto the tracks.
Versova-based accountant, Haresh Koli, was one among the five unfortunate individuals who had to bear the brunt of the mishap. The man slipped and fell, injuring himself during the ensuing commotion at Andheri station, reported Mumbai Mirror.
What makes the Versova resident important to this story is when the Railways offered him a compensation of Rs 1 lakh, he refused to accept it and instead asked them to give his share of the amount to someone in dire need.
The four others who were injured had fallen off the walkway and were trapped under the debris. And while all of them, including Koli, were hospitalised, the railways announced a compensation of Rs 1 lakh.
The immediate amount disbursed to the families was a token amount of Rs 5,000 in cash, and the remaining amount was handed as cheques, later that same day.
Haresh Koli’s wife, Reshma, accepted the cash, since he was unconscious and recuperating in the hospital. But as soon as he came to his senses, the first thing he did was to politely turn down the cheque offered by the Railways.
He then revealed that he wasn’t one among those who fell from the walkway and onto the platform and also that his treatment was covered by his medical insurance policy.
Speaking to the publication, Reshma added that Koli was walking on platform number one when panic-stricken commuters at Andheri station pushed him onto the tracks, which left his arm bleeding profusely.
“We do not need the compensation as my husband was not pulled out of the debris,” she added.
Haresh was also quick to tell the authorities to use his share of compensation for the other victims who would be in a greater need due to the nature of their injuries.
Raising concerns about dilapidated bridges, Reshma told the publication, “Sometimes, breadwinners of families become the hapless victims of such disasters. How does the government plan on compensating such families?”
While it would have been easy for any individual to have kept the money by not clearing out the confusion, Haresh decided to take the road less taken. We salute him and his family for their selfless act and wish him as well as all the others a speedy recovery.
Feature image in-set credit: Mumbai Mirror
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)