Mumbai local train is called as Mumbai’s lifeline, but the auto’s and taxi’s which ferries its passengers from their home to the nearest railway stations cannot be sidelined. They are as important as the local train. They are on duty right before you sip your morning cup of tea and carry you halfway to your workplace till wee hours of the night to drop you home safely from the railway station.
The importance of autos cannot be ignored by any Mumbaikar, right? But somehow I feel the equation Mumbaikars share with most of the auto wallas is not good. The aggression, the bashing continues from time to time. I keep wondering why? I too have had my share of disagreement with a few of the auto wallas when they had refused to travel to places which are too close and at times I felt their meter is tampered. These incidences keep happening and I think will continue to happen. But after I met this man called Santosh Gaikwad, my outlook has changed a little towards them. This autowalla bhaiya was making a difference and helping people with whatever small ways he can.
I got to chance to speak to him in our society while he was dropping a passenger. You will find this man in Navi Mumbai and can recognize him with his auto which is decked up with flowers and bright lights. The moment you enter his auto you will be amazed to see how he has customized his vehicle with newspaper, magazines, pamphlets to keep enlighten you while he drives you safely to your destination.
The best part is not only the literary collection that he has but giving free rides to physically handicapped people. Yes, you read it right, this man gives free rides to the differently –abled. His grandmother was diagnosed with cancer and one of her leg got amputated, he saw the difficulties faced by her and decided to help those people to ease their pain a little. His philanthropic work got recognized and was included in the Limca Book Of World Records in the 2014 edition. Isn’t it awesome?
Santosh Gaikwad is a very simple man, who inspite of being not so financially sound is doing his bit to help those who need support. I think he is doing a great job and we all should come forward and support him. He also told me that now a few of his fellow autowalla friends are also doing the same.
Not only this he told me that he also supports social causes like Education For Every Girl Child by giving information to socially backward classes. Awareness about road safety measures is another issue which is being addressed by this Good Samaritan.
Hats off! Respect!