After dropping a passenger at the railway station, Babu Muddrappa was on his way home in Whitefield on April 15.
It was around 2.30 in the afternoon when he heard the distressed cries of a pregnant woman. When no one volunteered to take her to the hospital, Babu helped her in the rickshaw and did the needful.
Recalling the day, Babu tells The Better India,
I felt sorry for the lady who was in labour, and at the same time, I was furious with people’s behaviour towards her. I took her to Vydahi hospital where the doctors asked us to go C V Raman hospital.
On reaching the C V Raman hospital, Babu was asked to find her relatives or friends who could fill the admission form. The pregnant lady gave Nanditha as her name.
Unfortunately, to admit any patient, filling the admission form is a requirement in most hospitals. She was already in a lot of pain, so instead of searching for her relatives, I filled the form. My conscience did not allow me to leave.
Babu waited till the baby, a girl, was delivered around 9.30 pm. Since it was a premature birth, the baby suffered from severe breathing problems.
Though Babu spent the entire day at the hospital that took on a toll on his income for that day, he took the baby to Bowring & Lady Curzon Hospital. He followed the same admission procedure for the infant to get the medical attention she needed.
He reached home in the wee hours of the morning, and after a quick change of clothes left for CV Raman hospital to check on the mother. On reaching the hospital, he learnt that Nanditha had fled.
It was one of the most dreadful moments of my life when I learnt that the mother had abandoned her newly-born child. I have my children and running away is the worst thing a parent can do, says the 29-year-old.
For the next 18 days, Babu would visit Bowring & Lady Curzon Hospital every day after his work. From paying the hospital bills, buying medicines to taking care of the infant, Babu did everything in his capacity to help without asking for anything in return.
Those 18 days I did not think about anything but the baby. I was terrified in the beginning, but my wife supported me and even hinted towards adopting the infant. The child’s health also started improving.
However, on May 4, the child’s health deteriorated, and she succumbed to health problems.
The doctors called me early in the morning and informed me that premature babies have a low survival rate and the girl passed away after coughing blood. I wanted to perform death rites for the infant, but the hospital did not permit me, he says.
For him, the girl was like his child, and for days Babu was sad.
To ensure that no mother ever does anything like this to her child, Babu lodged a formal complaint against Nanditha at the Indiranagar Police station.
This is not the first time Babu has gone out of his way and helped people. In his ten years of career as a rickshaw driver, he has returned a passenger’s wallet, taken a man to the hospital and hardly refused a ride to any passenger.
Every passenger is like a God for me. They are helping me earn money with which I can provide the best to my children, wife and parents. Helping a fellow human is not a task for me. It is a good deed, and I will continue to do so till I die.
The auto drivers in India, especially in the metropolitan cities, are infamous for charging twice (sometimes thrice) the metre rate and most importantly, refusing a ride.
However, even amidst their notoriety, there exist drivers like Babu Muddrappa who set an example of striking a balance between one’s duty and responsibility.
Another lesson that the courageous driver teaches us is the noble act of helping each other. People are often hesitant to help others fearing the repercussions. There are times when you want to help but do not only because of the fear of getting into trouble.
Babu’s heartwarming gesture restores faith in humanity and also serves as a reminder to all of us to be more compassionate!
Featured Image Source: Flickr
(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)