Not Just the Minister, Even Citizens helped Douse the Devotees Car Fire
Mangaluru: This story is like a Teacher who gets all the praise and credit for winning the First place in a science project when all the work was done by the students- similarly about this incident here, State Minister for Food and Civil Supplies UT Khader got all the praise and compliments in various media for helping out in dousing a car fire of Sabarimala devotees couple of days, even though dozens of nearby residents also helped out in the rescue work. Just because a Minister was involved in this incident, the story got wide publicity in many print and electronic media. What if an ordinary citizen or citizens were involved in such a tragedy, the incident wouldn’t have got much publicity- because such cases probably take place every day.
The incident made headlines like “Khader helps douse the blaze in devotees’ Car”; Minister Khader’s Rescue Act”; “Minister Khader helps Sabarimala devotees”; “U T Khader plays Samaritan; rescues Sabarimala ….”; and many such captions. Well, I do appreciate the kind act of Minister Khader, which other ministers dare to do it, but credit should also go the dozens of nearby residents/citizens who had risked their lives in trying to put off the fire, unload the belongings of the devotees in the car etc. I was the witness for this scene right when the fire started and probably the only media person to click a bunch of photos, since the incident took place when I just came out of the Sandesha Awards ceremony that took place a few blocks from the accident scene- and I had parked my two-wheeler a few meters from the burning scene. And Mangalorean.com was the first to publish the breaking news.
We all should know that our beloved Karnataka minister UT Khader has been a Good Samaritan during many instances like taking the injured person/persons in an accident to the hospital or help someone stranded on the highway due to a faulty vehicle- but once again minister UR Khader had shown his kind gesture by lending his helping hand to the occupants of a car which caught fire due to short circuit. Speaking to Team Mangalorean, the driver of the Tata Indica car Maulus Thashildar said, ” We were coming back Sabarimala on our way back to our hometown in Hubli. On our way back we had stopped at various temples, and our next temple visit was Dharmasthala.”
“While traveling on the highway between the Nanthoor circle and Kankanady circle, I noticed one of the car headlights was burnt. So I stopped the car near a car garage to get a new or used headlight. When I returned back to my car and tried to turn on the ignition, I noticed sparks coming out of the bonnet due to short circuit. We all quickly got out the car, unloaded our belongings with the help of local citizens, but luckily none of were injured, except for a few fire bruises on my palm. The front portion of the car was completely burnt, but luckily there was no major damage nor any explosion” added the driver.
In the meantime, State minister UT Khader who was passing by on that highway noticing this incident got out of the car and interacted with the Ayyappan’s devotees, and with the help of onlookers tried to douse out most of the fire, before the fire brigade could arrive. Khader also reached his hands into his wallet and offered money to the driver to be used as part of the damage expenses, their food and travel back by KSRTC bus that night. The driver who didn’t know who this Good Samaritan was, but later when he found out through Team Mangalorean that it was Minister UT Khader, he was so blessed and wanted to thank him whole-heartedly for his kind gesture.
There were five Ayyappan’s devotees in the car, including a small kid- and luckily all escaped without any injuries or fatality. The fire brigade personnel arrived and doused the fire and brought the situation under control. But I really want to praise and compliment the brave efforts by nearby residents/citizens who were trying to open the hood of the car, thereby risking their lives. What if for reasons the front portion of the car exploded due to the burning fire? But luckily all these good Samaritans were safe since there was no explosion nor the fire burnt out of control. Even a few women from the nearby houses brought water in the buckets to douse the fire- not forgetting to mention the help of car garage mechanics. All joined in bringing the fire under control until fire brigade personnel arrived.
This afternoon (Sunday, 15 Jan) speaking to Team Mangalorean over the phone from his hometown, the driver said, ” We are all lucky that Swami Ayyappan saved us from a big disaster. We all reached home safe by bus, although we are still nervous thinking about the incident. We are also thankful to the citizens of Mangaluru for lending their helping hand during the incident, and our sincere thanks also to Minister UT Khader for his kind gesture and trying to console us during this tragedy. It was only due to the quick help from the nearby residents of Nanthoor area that a major fire was averted. With insurance handling the case, the car is getting fixed in Mangaluru and will be ready in few days for pick up. Thanks once again, Good ‘Mangalorean’ Samaritans, and may God bless you all”
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