scorecardresearch
Follow Us:
Saturday, May 21, 2022

Republic Day: two Assam villagers honoured for averting train accident

On Republic Day, the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR), will honour the two youths, Bikas Das and Surya Das, of Nagaon district's Puranigudam, for their “prompt action” that led to saving more than a hundred passengers aboard the train.  

By: Express Web Desk | Guwahati |
Updated: January 26, 2019 3:10:12 pm
Bikas Das (left) and Surya Das from Nagaon’s Puranigudam will be honoured by the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) for averting a train mishap. (Source: NFR)

On the morning of January 7, when Gormur village’s Bikas Das (20) and Surya Das (22) were out on a morning walk by the railway tracks, they noticed a crack — what in technical terms is called a ‘railway fracture’ — on one of the tracks. 

The youths, neither of whom have been educated beyond Class 10, felt that this could be potentially dangerous. “So we rushed home, got my mother’s red petticoat, rushed back to the spot and started waving it wildly,” says Bikas, whose home is by the side of the tracks.

This action led the train — the Guwahati Silaghat Town Rajya Rani Express, a passenger car, that runs between the towns of Alipurduar and Silaghat —  to halt, thereby saving at least 150 passengers on board. 

“We were scared, yes — but we had no other choice,” says Bikas.

Best of Express Premium

Mehbooba Mufti interview: ‘Of course PDP is going to fight election...Premium
Why is NCP chief Sharad Pawar meeting Brahmin community leaders in Pune t...Premium
The first stop for Azam, son out of jail was this SP leader’s housePremium
Abhinav Prakash Singh writes: At stake in Gyanvapi, the hopes of a civili...Premium

On Republic Day, the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR), will award the two boys for their “prompt action” and “alertness” in a special ceremony held in the Railway Stadium in Guwahati.

“This is a first for the NFR — in our Republic Day celebrations, we usually award internal employees. This is the first time we are awarding two civilians,” said Pranav Jyoti Sharma, Chief Public Relations Officer, NFR. 

Bikas has studied up till Class 10 while Surya did not attend school beyond Class 8. The two are neighbours.

“We had actually gone to sun ourselves by the tracks for a while. It was a cold January morning,” says Surya, who works as driver on hire in his village. “When we saw the crack, we knew that the train would get derailed and lot of people would die — that is why we wasted no time in getting a red cloth.”

For the ceremony, Bikas is on his maiden trip to Guwahati. “This is the first time I am experiencing a big city. It feels very good. Everyone in our village is congratulating us,” he says. Back home, he works in a butcher’s shop, selling broiler chicken.

NFR’s Sharma says, “We have our guards (a key man during the day and a patrol man at night) patrolling the tracks all the time. But the bravery displayed by both of them was quite something.”

In July, in Ambassa, about 80 km from Agartala, Tripura’s capital, daily wage labourer Swapan Debbarma and his nine-year-old daughter Somati averted a similar train mishap. Later, Debbarma was offered a job by the Tripura government in the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports.

Bikas and Surya will receive a citation and award money of Rs 2,500 each. The duo admit that they are hopeful of better employment opportunities in the future.

For all the latest North East India News, download Indian Express App.

  • Newsguard
  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
  • Newsguard
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement