The Gujarat police constable who saved two children from rising flood waters by carrying them on his shoulders for 1.5 kilometres, despite suffering an injury to his leg, played down his heroism today, saying "there was no time to think (and) people had to be rescued". The hero policeman, Pruthvirajsinh Jadeja, carried the children through waist-deep water from Kalyanpur village in Morbi district, which lies about 200 kilometres from Ahmedabad.
"We received information regarding the presence of over 40 people trapped near Kalyaan Road. Our team reached to the spot and rescued everyone. The situation was such that there was no time to think. People had to be rescued at any cost. So I carried both children on my shoulders," Pruthvirajsinh Jadeja was quoted by news agency PTI.
"What we have done is just perform our duty," he said, adding that his actions would not have been possible without help from other police officers and locals, who also took part in the rescue operation.
Vice President of India Venkaiah Naidu praised the hero cop's today morning, in tweets written in Hindi, Telugu and English, saying, "Such efforts of committed professionals are praiseworthy & inspiration to others".
I compliment the bravery & commitment of #Gujarat constable— VicePresidentOfIndia (@VPSecretariat) August 12, 2019
Pruthvirajsinh Jadeja, who risked his life & rescued two school girls by carrying them on his shoulders and waded through knee-deep water in flood-hit Kalyanpur village in Morbi district of Gujarat. @GujaratPolicepic.twitter.com/aCdAWTBjqI
In a widely-shared video of the incident, Pruthivirajsinh Jadeja can be seen carrying the children and determinedly wading through swirling flood waters. Despite the strong current, he looks calm as he takes them to safety.
The rescue operation at Kalyanpur village had been launched by police officers from the Tankara Police Station after they were told that 42 people, including 17 children, were in danger. A makeshift boat was constructed but rescue operations were slow, leading Pruthvirajsinh Jadeja to act.
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani also acknowledged the constable's bravery.
"A man in uniform on duty...!! Police constable Shri Pruthvirajsinh Jadeja is one of the many examples of Hard work , Determination and Dedication of Government official, executing duties in the adverse situation. Do appreciate their commitment...," he tweeted.
A man in uniform on duty...!!— Vijay Rupani (@vijayrupanibjp) August 10, 2019
Police constable Shri Pruthvirajsinh Jadeja is one of the many examples of Hard work , Determination and Dedication of Government official, executing duties in the adverse situation.
Do appreciate their commitment... pic.twitter.com/ksGIe0xDFk
Former Indian cricketer VVS Laxman praised the constable for his "exemplary dedication and courage". "What a wonderful and touching video of Constable Pruthviraj Sinh Jadeja in Kalyanpur village of Gujarat rescuing 2 children by walking one and a half kms in flood water. Hats off to his exemplary dedication and courage," he wrote.
"Truly inspirational. We salute the extraordinary deed of Pruthviraj Jadeja, a Gujarat police constable who carried two children on his shoulders for over 1.5 km in floodwaters in Kalyanpar village of Morbi district, to safety," tweeted Supriya Sahu IAS, Director General of Doordarshan, Prasar Bharati.
"Prithviraj Ji,Salute to your courage & putting service before self..Your heroic act will inspire millions across the nation," BJP leader Major Surendra Poonia wrote on Twitter.
At least 19 people were killed in Gujarat over Saturday and Sunday, with incessant rains wreaking havoc across the state. Helicopters deployed from the South Western Air Command are aiding in rescue operations that have saved 6,000 people, so far.
With inputs from PTI