If you’re fond of being really, really tense and panicked and then infused with a sense of sudden relief, all caused by people you’ve never met (likely) a half world away, then boy are you in luck. That’s because this security-camera video of a Vangani Railway Station Pointsman heroically leaping into harm’s way to save a six-year old who fell on the tracks will absolutely deliver that feeling.
In the footage, you can see the child walking with his mother at the Mumbai train station, on the platform. What can’t be seen is that the mother is blind, which is why when the boy slips and falls off the platform onto the tracks, the mother is unable to find him.
Here, you should watch the footage at this point:
Holy crap, right?
The brave soul that bolted onto the tracks to help, just as a train was approaching, was Mayur Shelkhe, who is a pointsman for the railroad. Americans would call this job a switchman, someone who operates the rail switches used to route trains.
Did you notice that pause where Shelkhe seems to notice just how terrifyingly close that train was, and how fast it was approaching? Shelkhe explains what was going through his mind to the Indian Express:
“I was on the tracks. My work was to give the green signal to Udyan Express. It was just me and the station master standing on the platform. I saw Udyan Express heading towards the child. I had to save his life, and started running towards him. Within seconds I got scared and thought of backing out. I even slowed down. But I could not see him die and started running again.”
I feel like we’ve all had that moment where time seems to stop as you hover over the sharp point of indecision before committing to one path or another. Thankfully for that little boy, Shelkhe chose the path of selflessness.
Shelkhe, who lives in Neral, part of the greater Mumbai area, incredibly didn’t tell his family what happened until the video went viral and he had no choice:
“I did not inform them for two days. But today the video went viral and they called me up. At first my mother scolded me, but later she said she is proud of what I did. My wife got scared too, but she is happy now.”
Central Railway Mumbai Division has publicly recognized Shelkhe’s heroic act, and the Asian Institute of Transport Development awarded him a 50,000 rupee (about $600 US) award, which may be the most-deserved $600 I’ve ever heard of.
Fantastic job, Mayur.
(via Boing Boing!)