On January 23, an unusual scenario surfaced in Telangana when a bus driver battling with a sudden heart attack, still managed to save the lives of 50 passengers.
Unlike most stories of heroic rescue, this wasn’t one-sided. He saved their lives, and in turn, all the passengers got together to save him.
Here’s what happened
On Wednesday around 5 am, TSRTC bus driver, Darini Mahender, began the journey from Godavarikhani to Jubilee Bus Station in Secunderabad.
On the way, after crossing Kamanpur, Mahender suddenly began to feel breathless and severe chest pain.
However, with the thought of getting everyone to safety, he decided to continue driving till they reached a hospital or a safer location.
Despite his best efforts, the pain grew stronger, and after only 4 to 5 kms near Raghavapur, he collapsed on the steering wheel. Yet, he managed to steer the bus to a safe stop in time.
And, now it was the turn of the passengers.
Chandrashekhar, one of the passengers from Singareni, was a doctor, stepped forward to provide first aid to the driver. Meanwhile, the others tried to call 108 to arrange for an ambulance, but in vain.
As each passing minute pushed Mahender closer to his death, another passenger, Tirupathi, also an RTC driver in Singereni, volunteered to drive the bus to the nearest hospital in Peddapalli town.
Unfortunately, the nearest hospital had no doctors or medical equipment, and Mahendra had to be shifted to another hospital, while precious minutes slipped by.
It was then that bus conductor Rani after arranging for permissions from the seniors decided to hire a private ambulance to shift Mahendra. But, the money collected as cash from the tickets was not sufficient to pay for it.
At this point, all the passengers pooled in Rs 2,000 to book an ambulance and shifted Mahendra to a private hospital in Karimnagar town.
Thanks to the collaborative efforts of the passengers and the conductor, the bus driver is out of danger and undergoing treatment.
Resting on the hospital bed in Karimnagar, Mahender told The Hindu, “I never suffered from high blood pressure or any heart ailment. I don’t know how it all happened. The passengers saved my life and the presence of a doctor on the bus was nothing short of a miracle.”
This incident reflects that heroism and courage are not rare qualities one is born with, but what one inculcates based on their choices. Even during a close brush with death, Mahendra, a husband and a father of two, chose to put his duty first and used his presence of mind to save 50 lives. A true hero indeed!
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)