Fireman Rajaram Kalu Kedari has never thought that his is a noble mission even if its all about saving lives. Its something that drives him and that has been the case since he joined duty.
So,on Monday afternoon,when his team received a call about two people stuck in a mine near Lohegaon,he left for the spot without a second thought.
The couple,Sagar Babu Awayellu (25) and Sushmita Satish Kamble (17),were holding on to a rock in the mine. It took me 25 minutes to rescue them and take them out. The duo were saved by 3.30 pm, says 51-year-old Kedari,adding that the call was received by the fire brigade department at 1.52 pm.
A little over an hour had passed and Kedari was asked to rush to a hill near Parvati temple. A woman in her mid 30s,identified as Nasima Zafar Khan,had fallen into a well. I tied a rope around my waist and went into the well. After reaching down,I tied a rope around the womans waist and asked my team to pull us up. The woman was saved without a scratch on her body, recalls Kedari,who works as a leading fireman in the department.
The call was received at 4.43 pm and the woman was rescued within 25 minutes,after which she was shifted to a local hospital.
Originally from Junnar,Kedari moved to Pune 28 years ago when he joined the department. Felicitations or awards dont excite him and its the satisfaction of rescuing people that brings happiness to him,he says.
Kedaris seniors and colleagues praise him and call him the hero of their team. He is honest and hardworking. His dedication towards his work is impressive, says Pramod R Sonawane,station duty officer,who accompanied Kedari in the two rescue operations on Monday.
The views of Kedaris colleagues are backed by the fact that around a few months ago,when an old building had collapsed in Taljai,Kedari was one of the fire department officials who were part of the rescue operation. In a few hours,he was able to save 11 lives. However,Kedari says,These successes are a result of teamwork. I cannot do everything by myself and need the help,cooperation and coordination of the entire crew.