This sobering news comes to us from Kashmir, India.
Fewer things in life are more courageous than risking your own life for saving other people. That is a measure of humanity at its finest. Last Friday, Rouf Ahmed Dar, a 32-year-old registered professional rafter sacrificed his life to protect 5 tourists from drowning when their raft capsized. This incident took place along the Lidder River in Pahalgam in South Kashmir.
While Dar’s heroics must be applauded, it must be noted that the accident might never have happened if the tourists had not badgered Dar to take them out for white water rafting after sunset. The guidebooks clearly state that white water rafting is not for after sunset hours.
Around 7 pm on Friday, Dar’s raft got caught in a stream of blustery winds. Dar had initially managed to swim to safety. But when he saw that the tourists were really struggling to get out of the water, he went back to help them. Dar did manage to save the 5 tourists but the raging waters of the Lidder were too strong for him and Dar was swept away and eventually killed.
Local police, volunteers and the State Disaster Response Force found his body the following morning near Bhawani Bridge. The deputy commissioner of police Anantnag, Khalid Jehangir says,” It was an actual demonstration of Kashmiriyat which teaches love, brotherhood, and care, displayed by Dar, who successfully saved 5 tourists including 2 domestic tourists in the true spirit of trademark Kashmiri hospitality.”
The local administration announced an ex gratia of Rs 2 lakh for his family and the Jammu and Kashmir Governor announced a further compensation of Rs 5 lakh, calling him a real-life hero who sacrificed his life for saving others life.
Selfless champions like Dar show us that real heroes exist and that the only way we can come to terms with an incident like this is to help other people in whatever capacity we possibly can.
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