Assam: 11-year-old risks life thrice, jumps into Brahmaputra; saves mother, aunt

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GUWAHATI, September 7: Seldom do rescue stories have 11-year-old heroes. But little Kamal Kishore Das braved the Brahmaputra thrice over to pull to safety three people, including his mother, aunt and a stranger, who ultimately could not be saved.
On the country boat that hit a pillar and overturned on Wednesday while on a routine round from North Guwahati to the opposite bank, Kamal was on his way back after dropping off his grandmother.
The boy braved the strong current of the swollen river and put his life in danger to save his mother and aunt.
He jumped into the river thrice within 20 minutes to save them.
His only regret—he could not save a woman and her child even after pulling them to safety.
As the boat capsized, his mother yelled to him to swim to safety. He did. Only to find his mother had not followed him. “When the boat hit the pillar, my mother asked me to take off my shoes and swim to the bank. I managed to swim ashore,” Kamal told TOI. “When I got to the bank, I realised my mother and aunt had not been able to follow.
My mother can’t swim.”
In the 20 minutes that followed, Kamal dived back into the Brahmaputra thrice to try and save others. The river was full spate; chaos all around.
Without a second thought, he dived back into the water. “I swam towards the accident site and glimpsed my mother.
The currents were so strong, I could only grab her by the hair, then I reached for her hand and pulled her to the pillar,” Kamal said. “Suddenly I saw a woman at a distance who looked like my aunt. I dived again and pulled her to the pillar,” he added.
Wasn’t he overwhelmed or scared? “The current was very strong but I was not afraid,” he said.
“I owe him my life. I knew he would be able to save himself since he swims in the Brahmaputra to practise twice a week,” Kamal’s mother Jitumoni Das said. (TNN)