Tripura govt offers job to man who stood in front of speeding train to save lives, recommends name for President's medal

Agartala: The Tripura cabinet on Wednesday decided to offer a government job to Swapan Debbarma, who saved hundreds of lives by jumping on a railway track near a crater and waving his shirt to stop an oncoming train in June, a minister said.

Debbarma would be recruited as a Group D employee in the department of youth affairs and sports as a sign of gratitude to him, Education Minister and cabinet spokesperson Ratan Lal Nath said. "The government will also bear all the expenses for his daughter's education," Nath told reporters after the cabinet meeting.

Swapan Debbarma saved hundreds of lives by jumping on a railway track near a crater and waving his shirt to stop an oncoming train. ANI

Swapan Debbarma saved hundreds of lives by jumping on a railway track near a crater and waving his shirt to stop an oncoming train. ANI

Debbarma's teenaged daughter Somati was also with him during the act that saved lives of hundreds of train passengers. "He studied up to class 3. The minimum qualification for a job in Group D is class 8. However, considering his bravery and courage, the government has decided to recruit him as a Group D staff," Nath said.

Debbarma, who lives at Dhancherra in Dhalai district, around 83 km from here, could not be reached for his comment. A shifting cultivator and the head of a family of six members, the 45-year-old man earns his livelihood by selling forest produces such as firewood, wild tubers and bamboo shoots in the local market.

One day in June, he and Somati had found that soil and stones had been removed from below the railway tracks in a stretch of around six feet because of torrential rain. After noticing a train running towards it, he and his daughter jumped on the track and started waving his shirt as a signal to the driver who stopped the train and a disaster was averted.

He earned the sobriquet of "the god of the woods". Debbarma and his daughter were later invited to the state assembly and felicitated by members of both Treasury and Opposition Benches. The state Assembly also unanimously passed a proposal to recommend his name for the President's medal for bravery.

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Updated Date: Nov 29, 2018 10:43:29 IST

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