So this isn’t a story on our podcast, mainly because it requires some visuals to really appreciate the heroics of the situation. Originally, I saw the video related to Mayur Shelke risking his own life to rescue a six-year-old boy who had fallen off a railroad platform and onto the tracks in front of an oncoming train. Shelke, who works for the Central Railway in India, saw the child lose his balance and fall onto the tracks. In the video, you can see Shelke sprinting up the tracks, lift the child onto the platform and hoist himself onto the platform with only a second to spare. Fortunately, for the child, Shelke ran track as a sprinter. I have included a link to the YouTube video here.
As I said, I saw the video a week ago and thought it was impressive, but was it inspirational? Certainly, he acted heroically and without a doubt saved the young boy’s life. Mayur Shelke is definitely a hero for those actions. But to me, what made him inspiring was what he did with all the money that rolled in to him from people impressed with his heroism. Shelke, who has little of his own, is setting up a fund to use half of the money coming in to set up a fund to support the six-year-old he rescued and his blind mother. In the video, you can see the child’s mother searching for her son to help him, but she is unable to see him. Shelke received a reward from the railway of 50,000 rupees, which he is splitting with the child’s family, and primarily intended to ensure the child gets an education.
Shelke, a brand new father, named his just-born son ‘Shaurya’, which means ‘courage’ . Shelke, who is a pointman for the railroad, is tasked with ensuring the tracks are clear for the trains to come in and depart. For Shelke, he thought this act of heroism was just part of his job. “As usual, I went home that evening and did not utter a single word about what had just happened to anyone in the family. I had not told my parents anything about this incident out of fear that they would scold me for putting my life at risk. They came to know about the incident through TV channels on April 17.”
Shelke has received a lot of attention for his action in India, with politicians, railway officials, and others all giving him high praise for his bravery. Strangers are coming up to him and offering him meals and snacks. His phone has been ringing off the hook since the video went viral. A true hero, what makes him so inspiring to me is that he is so humble and generous. The world needs more Mayur Shelkes.