Keeping it together

Why the family of a murdered RSS worker thanked a devout Muslim in Karnataka

Abdul Rahouf, who runs a fruit shop near the BC Road, rushed Sharath Madivala to the hospital in his autorickshaw.

Even as communal tension continues in Dakshina Kannada district in coastal Karnataka, a 33-year-old Muslim fruit vendor’s attempt to save the life of a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh worker, who was stabbed in Bantwal taluk, has moved many hearts.

The incident occurred on July 4 when unidentified assailants attacked RSS member Sharath Madivala at around 8.30 pm after barging into his family-owned laundry shop in the busy town of BC Road, or Bangalore Chikmagalur Road, in Bantwal taluk, 20 km from the district headquarters of Mangalore.

Abdul Rahouf, who runs a small fruit shop near the laundry, rushed to the spot and took Madivala to the nearest hospital in his autorickshaw.

Abdul Rahouf inside his fruit shop in BC Road in Dakshina Kannada. Photo credit: TA Ameerudheen
Abdul Rahouf inside his fruit shop in BC Road in Dakshina Kannada. Photo credit: TA Ameerudheen

However, despite Rahouf’s efforts, Madivala succumbed to his injuries on July 8.

Madivala’s family thanked Rahouf for his selfless service. “I know Rahouf and we must thank him for taking my son to hospital,” Madivala’s father Thaniyappa told this correspondent on Monday.

This was the second political murder in Dakshina Kannada district in the last three weeks.

The police suspect that Sharath was murdered in retaliation for the killing of a Social Democratic Party of India worker named Ashraf on June 21.

Six persons accused have been arrested in connection with Ashraf’s murder.

Investigations into Sharath’s killing are underway and the police officials have said arrests will soon follow. “We have got enough leads, and we will arrest the culprits soon,” Dakshina Kannada Superintendent of Police CH Sudhir Kumar Reddy told Scroll.in.

Unforgettable day

Rahouf says the horror the incident will stay with him for a long time.

He had just finished his namaz inside his little shop when he heard a scream for help from Praveen, who runs a grocery shop near Madivala’s family-owned Udaya laundry.

“Rahouf Bhaiyya, come fast,” Praveen said. “Someone has stabbed Sharath. He is lying in a pool of blood.”

At first, Rahouf was unable to fathom what was going on. But he stepped out of his shop, leaving his prayer mat unrolled.

“Praveen called two more shopkeepers to the spot,” he told Scroll.in. “Sharath was lying in a pool of blood and our immediate task was to rush him to the hospital. We pleaded with all the vehicles that came that way, including the local autorickshaw drivers, to take him to the hospital. But all our requests fell on deaf ears.”

Rahouf decided to bring out his own old autorickshaw, which he used to ferry fruit from the market.

Abdul Rahouf stands near the autorickshaw, in which he took RSS worker Sharath Madivala to hospital. Photo credit: TA Ameerudheen
Abdul Rahouf stands near the autorickshaw, in which he took RSS worker Sharath Madivala to hospital. Photo credit: TA Ameerudheen

“I found it was a waste of time to wait for a vehicle,” he said. “So we put Madivala in my autoriskshaw and drove him to the Father Muller’s Hospital, which is five kilometres away from BC Road.”

Sharath was alive when they reached the hospital at 10 pm. “I prayed for his speedy recovery,” Rahour said. “Later, I came to know that his friends shifted him to AJ Hospital where he breathed his last on July 11.”

Rahouf said he knew Madivala for the last 14 years.

“We used to exchange pleasantries and sweets during Deepawali and Eid,” he said. “It was not a thick friendship, but we knew each other really well.”

Rahouf said he never knew that Madivala was an RSS worker. “For me, he is Thaniyappa’s son, who has been running the laundry for more than 40 years,” he said.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Virat Kohli and Ola come together to improve Delhi's air quality

The onus of curbing air-pollution is on citizens as well

A recent study by The Lancet Journal revealed that outdoor pollution was responsible for 6% of the total disease burden in India in 2016. As a thick smog hangs low over Delhi, leaving its residents gasping for air, the pressure is on the government to implement SOS measures to curb the issue as well as introduce long-term measures to improve the air quality of the state. Other major cities like Mumbai, Pune and Kolkata should also acknowledge the gravitas of the situation.

The urgency of the air-pollution crisis in the country’s capital is being reflected on social media as well. A recent tweet by Virat Kohli, Captain of the Indian Cricket Team, urged his fans to do their bit in helping the city fight pollution. Along with the tweet, Kohli shared a video in which he emphasized that curbing pollution is everyone’s responsibility. Apart from advocating collective effort, Virat Kohli’s tweet also urged people to use buses, metros and Ola share to help reduce the number of vehicles on the road.

In the spirit of sharing the responsibility, ride sharing app Ola responded with the following tweet.

To demonstrate its commitment to fight the problem of vehicular pollution and congestion, Ola is launching #ShareWednesdays : For every ​new user who switches to #OlaShare in Delhi, their ride will be free. The offer by Ola that encourages people to share resources serves as an example of mobility solutions that can reduce the damage done by vehicular pollution. This is the fourth leg of Ola’s year-long campaign, #FarakPadtaHai, to raise awareness for congestion and pollution issues and encourage the uptake of shared mobility.

In 2016, WHO disclosed 10 Indian cities that made it on the list of worlds’ most polluted. The situation necessitates us to draw from experiences and best practices around the world to keep a check on air-pollution. For instance, a system of congestion fees which drivers have to pay when entering central urban areas was introduced in Singapore, Oslo and London and has been effective in reducing vehicular-pollution. The concept of “high occupancy vehicle” or car-pool lane, implemented extensively across the US, functions on the principle of moving more people in fewer cars, thereby reducing congestion. The use of public transport to reduce air-pollution is another widely accepted solution resulting in fewer vehicles on the road. Many communities across the world are embracing a culture of sustainable transportation by investing in bike lanes and maintenance of public transport. Even large corporations are doing their bit to reduce vehicular pollution. For instance, as a participant of the Voluntary Traffic Demand Management project in Beijing, Lenovo encourages its employees to adopt green commuting like biking, carpooling or even working from home. 18 companies in Sao Paulo executed a pilot program aimed at reducing congestion by helping people explore options such as staggering their hours, telecommuting or carpooling. After the pilot, drive-alone rates dropped from 45-51% to 27-35%.

It’s the government’s responsibility to ensure that the growth of a country doesn’t compromise the natural environment that sustains it, however, a substantial amount of responsibility also lies on each citizen to lead an environment-friendly lifestyle. Simple lifestyle changes such as being cautious about usage of electricity, using public transport, or choosing locally sourced food can help reduce your carbon footprint, the collective impact of which is great for the environment.

Ola is committed to reducing the impact of vehicular pollution on the environment by enabling and encouraging shared rides and greener mobility. They have also created flat fare zones across Delhi-NCR on Ola Share to make more environment friendly shared rides also more pocket-friendly. To ensure a larger impact, the company also took up initiatives with City Traffic Police departments, colleges, corporate parks and metro rail stations.

Join the fight against air-pollution by using the hashtag #FarakPadtaHai and download Ola to share your next ride.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Ola and not by the Scroll editorial team.