It is a harsh truth beyond our worst nightmare to realise that around 720 lives were lost in 327 train accidents in India from 2013 to 2017. Another horrific mishap could have marked the end of 2018 which otherwise recorded the least number of train accidents in the last five years. On December 30, two 13-year-old schoolboys from Kumta, Karnataka averted a major train tragedy, saving hundreds of lives. The appreciable presence of mind of the teenagers Manjunath Narayan Reddy and Shashikumar Vinayak Naik helped the Konkan Railway authorities take necessary action in time before any of the scheduled trains could pass through faulty tracks.
A gap in the railway tracks
According to The Times Of India sources, the two students of the ninth standard had gone to pluck fruits from the trees adjacent to the railway tracks when they spotted some unusual damage in the railway line. “They noticed some defect in the rail link and on closer observation, they found that the line was damaged and a gap had formed just above the sleeper,” sources shared with The Times Of India.
The youngsters made no delay in running 400 metres to the nearest Kumta station to inform the officials about the impending risk. Upon immediate inspection, the railway officials discovered that the fault was indeed major and dangerous. Repair work ensued and the damage was fixed soon. The scheduled Mangalore-Mumbai Matsyagandha Express was detained for around 26 minutes at Kumta station and was allowed to pass only after the junior engineer provided the track fitness certificate. Later, around 7:59 PM, the Trivandrum-Nizamuddin Express also passed on the tracks safely without any hindrance.
Praises galore for the young saviours
Konkan Railway authorities are still investigating the cause of the damage. Meanwhile, Karnataka CM H D Kumaraswamy expressed his praise for the two students over a tweet.
“I appreciate students, Manjunath Narayana Reddy and Shashi Kumar, studying in the 9th standard of Nellikeri High School, for averting the possibility of a railway mishap by alerting the railway authorities about a crack in rail line in Kumta.” – read his tweet.
Efforts For Good applauds the courage, responsibility and presence of mind shown by the young saviours and hopes their efforts are duly recognised and rewarded.