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Heroes of Asgholi

Cousins Ritesh Lakde (14) and Nikesh Lakde (17) have been declared heroes of Guhaghar Taluka by the locals. The duo saved a fisherman who had severely hurt his right hand and brought him to safety after Phyan struck the region on Novemeber 11, 2009. Both the cousins are too shy and humble to speak about their experience that day.  

“They had gone fishing like any other day early in the morning. There four of them in the boat, on which they are all employed. When the boat capsized, one of them, Padwal Waghivre, went down with it, while three of them somehow managed to swim out from under the boat,” said Vimal Lakde, Nikesh’s mother. While Nikesh and Ritesh were fit to swim, their companion Santosh Jhakkar had broken his right hand while trying to swim out from the capsized boat.

 “Santosh kept saying that he would die soon as he was unable to swim with one hand. Moreover, it was too windy for us to be able to see the shore,” said Nikesh. The two boys held Santosh by his arms and kept swimming in rough waters. For the next eight hours the boys held onto Santosh who was in lot of pain. At around 3.30 pm on November 11 the trio swam to safety.

The two boys have termed heroes by the locals. “Had it not been for them, Santosh would have died. At such a tender age they have displayed a lot of courage and valour,” said Yaswant Waijivaingankar, member of the panchayat samiti in Asgholi.

 Santosh, who is recuperating at his native village Katali Navanagar, located 100 kms away, said that he had given up that day. “I knew my hand was useless and that I would not survive even 10 minutes in the wild sea. But the two boys just held on to me and gave me hope all through,” he said.

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