GUWAHATI: Rubon Das was at his wit’s end when his wife Nandita was writhing in labour pain and there was no ambulance or other vehicles to take her to a government-run hospital, located 10 km away from their Rajyeshwarpur Part I village in Southern Assam’s Hailakandi where curfew was imposed following communal violence.
It was then that Maqbool Hussain Laskar, a 32-year-old cab driver who is an acquaintance of Das, appeared like a Messiah. He volunteered to take the woman to the SK Roy Civil Hospital in Hailakandi in his car by putting his life at risk.
Nandita, aged 22, delivered a healthy baby boy just minutes after reaching the hospital. The family has named the infant “Shanti”.
Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC were clamped in Hailakandi on May 11 following a communal violence that left one person dead and over a dozen others injured. The situation was tense and people were afraid of venturing out of their homes.
“On May 12, everything had come to a standstill in Hailakandi and its adjoining areas due to the curfew. I had frantically called up the 108 ambulance service and others I know for a vehicle to take my wife to the hospital. However, they declined my requests fearing trouble on the way. I was at a loss. Soon, Laskar, the Good Samaritan, arrived with his car. We immediately left for the hospital and the baby was born soon after we had reached there,” Das told Express.
He said everyone in the hospital was surprised to see them given the volatile situation that prevailed then.
“I have no words to express my gratitude to him (Laskar). The worst was possibly in store but God sent him to us,” Das said, adding, “We named the baby Shanti despite knowing that it is a girl’s name. Shanti denotes peace and we want the return of durable peace to Hailakandi”.
Laskar, the saviour, said he considered saving the lives of the woman and the baby in her womb was more important than putting his life at peril.
“As soon as I learnt about the agonies of the family from a local in my village, I left for the house. I won’t say I was not scared to drive the distance but my fear was overpowered by the thought that I should be able to take her to the hospital before it is too late,” Laskar said.
He said he was happy that everything passed off well.
Hailakandi Deputy Commissioner (District Magistrate), Keerthi Jalli, praised both Laskar and Das for their courage and communal brotherhood. She paid a visit to the residence of Das on Tuesday where Laskar was also present.
Das hugged Laskar and thanked him for coming out to help them in their hour of distress and giving his wife a new lease of life. Laskar, in turn, asked Das to thank God for coming to their rescue.
“He (Laskar) had volunteered to take the woman to the hospital at great personal risk. As the baby has been named Shanti, we hope that the society will come back to peace,” Jalli said.