Updated: May 30, 2021 7:45:40 pm
Mahadev Shinde, a retired havaldar with Pune Police, who was hailed as one of the heroes during the flooding that happened following Panshet dam breach in 1961, died due to old age-related complications. He was 88 and is survived by his wife, two sons and their families.
A long-time resident of Kasarwadi in Pimpri-Chinchwad, Shinde was with Wanavwadi police in 1962 when the Panshet dam mishap happened.
“Several Pune city localities were inundated. Risking his own life, my father jumped into water and saved several lives. The Pune Police commissioner had honoured him,” said his son Pramod Shinde.
Subsequently, Shinde was felicitated by several several local organisations.
“My father never boasted that he had saved those lives on being asked about his rescue act. Instead, he used to say, ‘I did not save them, I was doing my duty. When a policeman is on duty, he has to protect people and their property. That’s what I did. What is so special about it?’” Pramod recalled.
Local resident Jayant Kariya said Appa, as Shinde was popularly known as in the area, fitted the bill when it came to the personality of a policeman. “He was tall, a strong built and easily approachable. But unlike most policemen, he was amazingly polite and soft-spoken,” he added.
Another local resident Avinash Prasad said, “Appa’s heroics have been a source of inspiration for us. If someone sets an example by saving lives with exemplary courage, then it is worth emulating.”
The family said Shinde always kept himself fit and was frugal in his diet. “And that’s why he lived up to 88. He hardly had any health issues and never underwent any operation,” said his son.
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