Video: A Heroic Rescue: Meet The Downtown Duo Who Rescued A Child from Jhelum


by Jahangir Sofi

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SRINAGAR: A serene afternoon in the Safa Kadal area of downtown Srinagar on Sunday turned into a scene of high drama and heroism when two residents performed a life-saving act, rescuing a four-year-old boy from drowning in the Jhelum River.

The dramatic rescue by Showkat Ahmad and Zahoor Ahmad has sparked widespread admiration for their brave act, while also raising concerns about parental negligence and society’s failure in not pushing the new generation to pick up the swimming skill.

It was just another day for the residents of Gase Mohallah, with children playing by the riverbank, a common sight during the warm summer days. However, the tranquillity was shattered when a young boy, while playing near the river, lost his footing and slipped into the fast-flowing waters of the Jhelum, according to police officials. Due to a surge in temperature in the last fortnight, the speedy glacial melt increased the river’s discharge.

Panic set in quickly as onlookers watched in horror. The boy’s cries for help echoed across the river, his small form struggling against the powerful current. For a moment, the boy cried but it was his sister who shouted in all directions for help – Meh Gov Bou Vireh (my brother has drowned). In a moment that seemed to stretch into eternity, two local men leapt into action, with one diving into the river without a second thought. Their bravery turned what could have been a heartbreaking tragedy into a story of heroism.

“A young man jumped in without hesitating. It was a miracle that he survived. The Jhelum is not a canal; it’s very rare for someone to come out alive after falling in,” said a resident.

For Showkat and Zahoor, this is not their first successful rescue. Both, while speaking to Kashmir Life, said that they had saved lives during similar incidents in the area before.

“I was 15 when I saved a girl who tried to commit suicide by jumping into the Jhelum,” said Showkat. “I am happy if my creator has chosen me for this. But saving this boy was no less than a miracle, as he had floated a good distance in the roaring water of the Jhelum.”

Showkat Ahmad, the young man who first jumped into the water, said that without wasting any time, he tried to catch hold of the boy to save him from drowning.

Zahoor Ahmad (Right), and Showkat Ahmad (centre), a battery auto driver, with a Safa Kadal resident in Srinagar. The two heroes jumped into the mighty Jhelum river on May 26, 2024, and rescues a minor who slipped into the river. KL Image: Jahangir Sofi

“There must be many brave hearts, but I believe those who do not know swimming should learn this art. You never know when you will be required,” said Showkat.

The swift action of Showkat, captured in a video that has gone viral on social media, shows him battling the current to reach the struggling child. As he brought the boy to shore, Zahoor rushed to help, performing CPR on the young boy.

“His bravery deserves all the praise,” said another onlooker. “This man risked his own life to save the child. He’s a true hero,” said Bashir Ahmad, a local resident.

Another resident said that summers in Kashmir always bring these kinds of risks, stating that children flock to the rivers and lakes to escape the heat, but it is very dangerous, especially for those who can’t swim. Tragically, these outings often end in accidents, sometimes with fatal consequences.

The rescued boy, though visibly shaken, was reported to be in good health and is currently recovering. “We were at the children’s hospital for some tests,” said Imtiyaz Ahmad, the boy’s father. “My son is stable, and we are grateful beyond words to the man who saved him.”

Police officials confirmed the details of the incident, saying that the boy had slipped while he was playing on the banks of the river in the area.

It is too common and frequent in Kashmir that young boys slip into water while bathing and drown. This usually happens during peak summers when mercury is too unbearable for the kids. There has been a demand for many years that the schools must emphasise swimming skills as part of the extracurricular activity, a tradition that was successfully established by Biscoe in 1930s.


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