MYSURU: Heavy rain and floods in Cauvery river have cut off 25 families of a private layout in Srirangapatna from the rest of the town for the last one week. Rising to the occasion, Mujahid Pasha, who runs a chicken stall near Wellesly Bridge, came as a messiah for the affected families.
Pasha, 40, uses his coracle to ferry stranded families and their children in his own humble way, free of cost. Pasha had purchased the coracle for Rs 6,000 and used it for fishing in Cauvery. He now uses it to deliver food and other essential items to families and to take students to schools as the river is flowing above the danger mark with irrigation officials releasing 80,000 cusecs of water.
Office-goers and children use his services, while people with illness call Pasha before taking an appointment with doctors. Many who have constructed houses in the layout had no problem all these years.
Bridge damaged, residents marooned
However, the situation turned grim as the water released from Krishnaraja Sagar reservoir damaged the temporary bridge connecting the layout and pump house. This forced the residents to stay indoors and they had to struggle to buy essential commodities like milk, vegetables and food grains. Pasha uses his coracle to cross the river and deliver the essentials.
“When I heard that the bridge connecting the layout has collapsed and people were cut off from the mainland, I decided to help them using my coracle. I make eight to ten trips from the pump house to the layout to help schoolchildren and office goers reach their homes safely, free of cost. They wait for me and I have even ferried few of them suffering from fever to a nearby clinic”, he added.
Pasha even refused to take money from some priests whom he ferried till a temple’s hundi. “God has assigned me to serve people who are in trouble. I am doing it for mankind’s good and not for any monetary gain”.
Pasha, who tracks the weather forecast, feels that the situation will further worsen if more water is released from the reservoir. He has shared his mobile phone number to all the families stranded in the layout. Shankar, a resident said, “We are happy that our children have not missed classes, all because of Pasha”, he said.