When we think of heroism, the first image that comes to our mind is that of a soldier facing unprecedented odds in the battlefield, or the fireman who rushes into a burning building. No doubt that the feats of personal strength and courage showed by people in these fields are truly praiseworthy. But sometimes commoners too come face-to-face with situations in their day-to-day lives where they end up showing some incredible acts of bravery. One such case is of Radhika Ahire, a 25-year-old flight attendant with Jet Airways.
During the cabin crew training course, apart from giving fundamental knowledge of cabin crew responsibilities and duties, flight attendants are also trained in practical skills, necessary to perform safety procedures in standard and non-standard flight situations.
On November 7, 2018, Ahire, saw smoke coming out of an apartment on the ninth floor of Gokul Panchwati building in the suburb of Andheri, which is a complex opposite to her home. After hearing the commotion, she did not waste any time and rushed down (along with her brother Rohit) to see how they could help.
According to a media report, she ran up the nine floors and with the help of a crash axe, broke into the locked apartment, and took out nine fire extinguishers.
With the help of these fire extinguishers, she was able to successfully douse the fire before the firemen arrived. In all this, she was helped by her neighbour, Mahesh Belapulkar, who deals with fire-fighting equipment, and her brother.
The fire was caused by a stray fire cracker which led to fire spreading inside the apartment.
According to Ahire, during all this she was thinking only about saving lives.
“Fortunately, the apartment was empty at that time. But until I broke open the main door and another one leading to the bedroom, I had assumed that people might be trapped inside,” said the flight attendant, who has done her fire-fighting training at Jet Airways twice. “I had to cover my face with a piece of cloth as the fumes were irritating my eyes and nose.”
During the Reepublic Day 2019, Ahire exceptional courage and presence of mind was felicitated. Recognizing bravery, no matter how insignificant the situation is, is certainly empowering.