The current #MeToo wave in India has set Twitter ablaze. Each day more and more names of well-known and respected men in various professional fields are being called out. While the number of horrifying accounts of sexual harassment faced by women comes to light, it inadvertently creates an impression that the male race as a whole is untrustworthy and beyond help at this point.
However, even though the current climate is rather disheartening, we must remember to not dwell in just the misery and to find and recognise the good in people where it calls for it.
One such incident was described by Twitter user Mantasha Shaikh, who described an incident involving the driver and conductor of a BEST bus.
According to the Mumbai Mirror, the 25-year-old resident of Royal Palms in Aarey had gone to visit a relative last week. She left the relative’s house pretty late and took a BEST bus from Sakinaka, reaching Aarey Colony at 1.30 am.
Mantasha shared on Twitter what happened next:
This is the reason i love #Mumbai
I would like to thanks #Best Bus driver of 398 ltd. Who dropped me at 1.30 am at a deserted bus stop and asked me if someone is there to pick me up. To which i replied no. He made the entire bus wait until i got the auto. @WeAreMumbai
— Sleeping Panda #Followback (@nautankipanti) October 5, 2018
The driver Mayekar and the bus conductor Dinkar asked her if she had someone coming to pick her up. Since her husband was out of the city at the time, Mantasha, who had been dreading waiting for an auto alone in the dark deserted stretch of the road, replied no.
This prompted Mayekar(45) and Dinkar(32) to wait there for 10 minutes with all the other passengers in the bus until Mantasha finally got an auto. Moreover, they even stayed till the auto started moving to ensure that it went in the right direction and didn’t take the woman through a wrong route.
Speaking to the Mumbai Mirror, Mantasha says:
“That small gesture for them made a big difference to me. I felt that even if my family was not around, Mumbai will be looking out for me. It made me fall in love with the city all over again.”
Dinkar and Mayekar who have been working for BEST for 10 and 12 years respectively, attributes their gesture to their training.
“During my training, we were provided with a set of guidelines on how to make female passengers, elderly persons and children feel safe and comfortable during the ride. The safety of women passengers is paramount to us. Usually, women or elderly people are the last to get to off our buses. We are extra careful when they take a drop at an isolated place like Aarey Colony”
Mayekar remarks that since the roads are relatively empty and no set schedule to adhere to, the drivers of the last bus often go the extra mile to ensure the safety of their passengers:
“During the day, we are busy fighting traffic to meet the time schedule allotted to us. It’s only fitting that we take some efforts to do something extra for passengers at the end of the day.
This can be in the form of dropping the passengers a little further at a safe place where they can get rickshaws easily. Sometimes, we drop them in front of police stations. We often do this for physically challenged people.”
Mantasha’s tweet has gained much praise for Dinkar and Mayekar on social media:
This has happened with me too. I was travelling from pune to Mumbai.Met my lecturer on my way…when we reached boriwali bus station,knowing that I was alone & it was 11pm..he stood there with me, untill I booked a cab,gave me his and his wife's number in case I need any help.
— @ntra (@antrajoshi3) October 5, 2018
— Shrikrishna S. Kachave (@ShrikrishnaSays) October 9, 2018
— Somesh Sharma (@sharmasomesh95) October 8, 2018
— Dinar kulkarni 🇮🇳 (@vaibhavkulkarn8) October 8, 2018
If only all men would show even a tad of sensitivity and caring as these 2 men have, then there wouldn’t arise the need to take such precautions at all. Hopefully, we will get there one day. Until then, kudos to Dinkar and Mayekar.