Crane operator Dayanand Tiwari is considered by many to be no less than the ‘Messiah’ whom he rescued from the Mundkar building in outer Delhi, where a huge fire last week killed at least 27 people and injured many more.
The 45-year-old, who was crossing the building with his brother that day, decided not to wait for the fire tender to arrive and took the matter into his own hands, rescuing more than 50 people trapped in the blaze.
“It was my duty as a human being to help others,” Dayananda was asked when what motivated him to carry out the rescue operation early in the fire.
The blaze, the worst in recent years, has spread to a four-storey building in Mundka.
Recalling that day, Dayananda said that while crossing the area after working all day, he and his brother Anil Tiwari saw smoke coming out of the building and people were terrified.
Tiwari also noticed that some people were trying to help those trapped in the building.
At this point, he also decided not to wait for the fire tender and to help the stranded people.
“I was with my brother Anil Tiwari. We were coming after a day’s work. I saw smoke rising (from the building) and people shouting. Anil and I decided to go there and try to do something but the traffic was slow due to the fire, so we broke the divider and reached the place, ”said Dayanand.
There was no way to escape so with the help of a crane I smashed the glass panels of the building, he said.
“Then we were able to bring in a batch of four or six people. We were able to save 50 lives, “he said.
However, he added that the rescue operation was being hampered by rising temperatures near the building due to fire and smoke.
“We had to stop then because it was impossible to rescue people,” said Dayananda.
Dayananda, a father of two, a resident of Bihar, who came to Delhi about 25 years ago and has been living in Mundka ever since.
The crane operator said he did nothing “extraordinary”.
“As human beings, we have a responsibility to help others. I don’t think I’ve done anything extraordinary. God has strange ways. He put me there so I could help people, ”he said.
Malati was one of the first people rescued by Dayananda.
“I can’t imagine what would have happened if there were no cranes around to carry out the rescue operation. He came as a ‘Messiah’ and saved so many people, “he said.
Another woman rescued by Tiwari said she would not have survived without him.
“We were looking for a way to escape. But the whole staircase was smoky. We were terrified, someone told me there was a crane. I ran towards it. I don’t think I would have survived without Dayananda Tiwari, “said Mamata.