Constable Sudharshan Shinde was on patrol duty on Thursday night when he heard of a massive fire at 1 Above resto-pub in Kamala Mills. On reaching the premises in Lower Parel, he saw firefighters head upstairs using the emergency exit and followed them.
“I thought they would need more manpower, so I went with them to the top floor. The firefighters broke open the exit doors of the pub. As soon as we entered, I saw a girl lying there. As we didn’t have a stretcher, I picked her up and rushed downstairs,” said the constable.
On his way out, he realised that steps of the emergency exit had become slippery. “I remember every step I took, because I knew that if I fell, I would end up hurting her more. I wasn’t the only one who helped these injured, I was accompanied by several other police personnel,” said Shinde.
Captured by photo journalists as he walked out, the girl slung over his shoulders, Shinde did not stop there and continued to move people out of harm’s way. Unfortunately, he said, the woman did not survive.
His brave effort, however, did not go unnoticed. Shinde was felicitated by Mumbai Police Commissioner Dattatray Padsalgikar and Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar on Monday. At the Mumbai headquarters near Crawford Market, Shinde received a token of appreciation from the CP, which he said was his “dream come true”.
Describing the scene at the site of the blaze, Shinde said, “I am posted as a driver at Worli police station. As usual, we were patrolling when which we got a call that a massive fire had broken out in the Kamala Mills compound. We rushed to the spot. While I was moving people from the spot to a safe distance, I noticed that some victims stuck on the roof were calling for help using their mobile’s torchlights,” said Shinde.
This was not the first time Shinde had risen to the occasion. In 2014, the constable rescued a man from drowning off Worli Seaface. Having joined the police force in 2005, his first posting was with Local Arms 3. “During my training period, I was taught to be brave and help the people in need. I have joined the force to help people,” he said.
The constable stays at BDD chawl at Worli with his parents, wife and a son. His father Shivaji is a retired assistant police-sub inspector. “My father was a very sincere policemen and I joined the force because of him,” he said.