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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

9 year old Siddesh averts rail accident near Davanegere ~ benne dosa !!

Fourth standard student Siddesh’s curiosity about trains and presence of mind helped in averting a train accident on Sunday, 15th Mar 2015.

It is in the "Heart of Karnataka", surrounded by Chithradurga, Bellary, Shimoga, Chikmagalur and Haveri districts.  It is famous for its cuisine too ! ….. it is Davanagere,  often spelled Davangere,  a city in the Indian state of Karnataka, lying at the western part of South India. National Highway 4 (NH4) passes through the city, at a distance of about 264 kilometres (164 mi) from the state capital, Bangalore.  Davangere became a separate district in 1997, when it was separated from the erstwhile undivided district of Chitradurga for administration conveniences.

Till 1980s Davangere was named as Manchester of Karnataka for cotton Mills. Availability of cotton lead to formation of many cotton mills from prominent business families of the city. This fame was lost in time as cotton mills were shut down gradually. The city however continues to be a major trading center of agri commodities.  Siddesh, a 9-year-old, class 4 student of the Government Higher Primary School in Avaragere village, on the outskirts of Davanagere city, is in news – rightly as he averted a railway accident on Sunday morning. He not only alerted his father Manjunath about a crack in the track but also flagged down an approaching train with his red T-shirt.

Manjunath has a small, thatched hotel near the DCM township about 50 yards away from the railway line, Siddesh said, "I was worried on seeing the fracture and rushed to tell my father about it." Initially, Manjunath didn't take the boy seriously. But when the little boy dragged him to the spot, he realized the gravity of the problem. Some walkers and joggers had already assembled at the spot but couldn't decide what to do even though a couple of trains had passed over the faulty section.

The boy had gone to attend to nature's call near the railway tracks around 6.30am when he heard a sound different from the usual one when trains went past. He would watch trains go by and was familiar with the different sounds, Manjunath said. "Our son stood on the track waving his red T-shirt wrapped around a stick at the train from Hubli to Chitradurga (Hubli-Chitradurga passenger) at 7.30 am," said the boy's mother Anasuyamma.  Railway authorities said track fractures can happen around the onset of summer. Some passengers on the train appreciated the boy's courage and appealed to the district administration and elected representatives to recommend him for a bravery award.

School headmistress Gayatridevi MC said Siddesh is an average student active in extracurricular activities. She's now seeing a brave new boy who perhaps saved many lives.  Railway Officials are quoted as saying : It was a welding failure. We appreciate the boy's quick thinking in flagging down the train. Our engineer paid him Rs 500 on Sunday and thanked him. We'll recommend a bravery award.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
17th Mar 2015.

PS : Benne Dosa, is a type of dosa which traces its origin to Davangere.  It means "butter dosa" and is made up by addition of butter while preparing normal dosa;  accompanied by coconut Chutney . It is similar to masala or set dosa but smaller in size, made out of rice batter and much butter.  It has  found its own well-deserved place in the menu cards of all well-known restaurants in Karnataka.

News credit : TOI & Indian Express; Photo Credit : dinakaran.

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