Ganderbal: The gushing waters of river Sindh in Central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district may be threatening to sweep anything anything in its’ path but this brave Ganderbal man has an inseparable connection to this river.
Bashir Mir, of Ganderbal’s Kangan town throws himself in gushing river water, when every body else even the professional swimmers hesitate to do the highly risky job.
Every time, a drowning incident happens in river Sindh, Mir is the first person to jump into the fast flowing water to the applause and prayers of people apparently to rescue a person or retrieve a dead body.
Last week, he retrieved bodies of three teens single-handedly, when rescue teams of Jammu and Kashmir police and State Disaster Response Force struggled to fish out the bodies.
Highly skilled swimmer and a fearless man, the 40-year-old, Mir, is fondly known as a rescuer, locally.
He has rescued around a dozen people from drowning into gushing Sindh waters and retrieved at least 45 bodies in recent years.
Mir usually gets calls for help from people even before police is alerted about a drowning incident in river.
“It is highly challenging and equally risky job to rescue a person or retrieve a body from around 3000 cusec water but every time I see family members or relatives of victim helplessly searching for help, I get motivated to jump into the river,” he said.
Mir hurt his elbow and legs retrieving bodies from the river last week.
Interestingly, the years long experience in rescue operations has made Mir familiar with the behaviour of river water and even some identified spots, where dead bodies usually get stuck or stay around.
What makes his job even more risky is the fact Mir does not wear safety jacket during rescue, saying it hampers swimming.
He appeals people not to try swimming in gushing river waters unless they are experienced swimmers and are physically fit and mentally tough.
Frightened to see his rescue acts in vedios, Mir’s mother and wife appeals him not to risk his life but he can’t see people helpless and decides against quitting the job, he says.
Some of the major rescue operations Mir performed in recent years include a 10-day long rescue to fish out six bodies of pilgrims, who drowned into river along a vehicle they were travelling in.
Notably, Mir single-handedly saved four girls from drowning and retrieved bodies of two girls after a raft boat capsized in Sonamarg area.
In 2014, he rescued two men from drowning and brought out a dead body. Mir appealed district authorities to help him train a team of swimmers for any eventuality in future. He is currently imparting training to some young local boys.
The locals demand Mir to be awarded for his acts of examplary bravery.