Srinagar: Arsalan Nayeem Dar, 18, a resident of Maisuma, was out with his mother for shopping at Jahangir Chowk here in the city centre when he noticed some commotion near Budshah Bridge, Saturday afternoon. When they reached near the bridge they saw an elderly man drowning in the river Jehlum who had apparently jumped into the water.
A class 12th student studying commerce from S.P higher secondary school, Arsalan, among hundreds of people who had assembled near the bridge watching the old man drowning, without caring for his life emptied his pockets and gave his mother a slip and jumped into the water to save the old man.
When Arsalan jumped into the water his mother got terrified and while thumping her chest fainted. She started crying for the life of his son and started asking people to help.
“When he jumped into the water I thought I have lost my son forever. At first he was not visible in the water and I started crying while asking people for help,” said Mehbooba, Arsalan’s mother while narrating the frightful moments of her life.
“But when he got out of the water dragging the old man with him, I was so happy and proud that my son was safe and he managed to get out the old man alive,” she said, her face joyful and proud.
Later police arrived on the spot and also some couple of boats but Arsalan had already, amid slogans and applause, dragged the old man to the shore. The elderly man, reportedly from Kani Kadal area of downtown, was taken to the police station Maisuma.
The brave act of this young boy was appreciated by everyone people showered praises on him and applauded him for his noble deed. People also pooled money as a gift to the boy which the mother-son duo refused to take.
“My biggest reward was that I was able to get the old man out alive from the water. I did not save him for money or praise,’ said a soft-spoken but confident Arsalan. “It was an emotional decision and I could not see the man drowning in front of my eyes. I did not thought much and jumped.”
Arsalan was followed by a huge crowd who were shouting slogans which unnerved his mother. She thought maybe there would be some trouble because of the slogans. They took a by-lane and returned to their home quickly.
Sunday morning, to the surprise of Nayeem Ahmad Dar father of Arsalan, a couple of police man from Maisuma police station arrived at their residence asking for the details of his son. Since police knocks in the area means “troube”, he thought his son might have got into a problem. But it turned to be otherwise.
“I thought we are in trouble and my son has to suffer because of a good deed. But the police congratulated us and said that my son have been recommended for a reward for his brave actions,” Nayeem said with a smile.
Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, Syed Abid Rasheed, while talking to Kashmir Reader confirmed that the boy would be felicitated.
“We will felicitate him after Eid and we will also recommend him for an award and it would be a good one,” Abid said.