From Saving A Drowning Man To Rescuing Countless Animals, Gujarat’s Bhargsetu Sharma Is A Symbol Of Bravery
- IWB Post
- April 18, 2019
Running an animal rescue and welfare community, Humans With Humanity, Gujarat’s Bhargsetu Sharma, an NCC cadet and an Indian army aspirant, was 20 when she saved the life of a drowning man on May 13, 2018.
That day she had conducted a workshop under Humans With Humanity, which she had founded at the age of 16. “I had attended a training session for the Service Selection Board. Coincidentally, on the same day, we were also conducting a workshop for animal lovers,” she recalled. As the picnic ended, Bhargsetu, along with the volunteers, embarked on a trip to Mahi Sagar in Rasalpur.
“When we reached Mahi Sagar, I decided to swim in the deeper side of the river. Just when I was about to take the plunge, I heard screams. People were pointing out to the water and yelling, ‘Unko bacha lo’ (Save them),” she said. The locals had saved one of the two boys drowning in the river but the second couldn’t be found.
“At first, I was standing at the highest point and tried searching for the boy. But, there was no movement or ripple in the water. As the crowd started panicking, I decided to dive into the river and continue the search. I swam for about 12 minutes, and as I neared the riverbed, I finally saw him. He was immobile, appeared lifeless. I couldn’t find a pulse and realized that he was going into cardiac arrest,” she shared.
She started administering CPR, put her fingers in his locked jaws to aid his breathing and started trying to get the water out. He started biting Bhargsetu’s fingers, as his body went into a state of seizure.
“As an animal rescuer, I have been bitten several times, but none as painful as human bites. My hand started bleeding in his mouth. But I knew if I stopped, we would lose him. I had to keep slapping him so that he wouldn’t pass out,” she said. Her efforts saved his life and soon he was taken to the ambulance.
Bhargsetu was honored with the Raksha Mantri Padak 2019 for her bravery by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at the Republic Day NCC camp in Delhi Cantonment.
Talking about her journey into animal rescue and welfare, she said, “My family is full of animal lovers, and while growing up, I always felt a connection and affinity towards neglected strays. In 2012, my father and I used to feed the newborn pups of a stray dog.” Till date, she has rescued close to 3,800 distressed strays and birds.
H/T: The Better India