Help has poured in from different parts of the country for Kanta Murti Kallar, who prioritised social responsibility over immense personal loss during heavy rain last week. The 50-year-old flower vendor, who lives on the footpath outside Matunga station, opened a manhole to drain water from a flooded Tulsi Pipe Road in Matunga West on August 4. But instead of leaving and saving her belongings, she stood at the spot in the pouring rain for seven hours to warn motorists about the manhole.
Spirit of Mumbai: Woman stands 7 hours in rain to warn about manhole
The act of selflessness came at a great cost—her tent and all her savings, including Rs 10,000 she had saved for her two daughters’ online classes, were washed away.
Moved by her courage and social conscience, many citizens, including some from Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai, reached out to Mirror and offered to help put her and her daughters’ lives back together. As of Monday night, more than Rs 1.5 lakh was donated directly to Kallar. Of this, Rs 1 lakh was contributed by city-based
Ameya Hete, the company’s founder, said another Rs 11,000—a compensation for the lost savings— will be personally handed over to Kallar on Tuesday. “We spoke to her. She said the money we are giving would be more than sufficient to rebuild her lost assets and facilitate online classes for her children,” he said.
He said he was struck by Kallar’s act that embodied the true spirit of Mumbai. “She took control of the situation, and took an initiative that saved many lives. Her story has an inspiring message and will spark similar acts of selflessness in others.”
Kallar, her family’s sole breadwinner who is also the carer for her paraplegic husband who lives near Vashi naka, was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support. “I didn’t stay behind that day to earn anyone’s goodwill, much less their financial aid. I didn’t want anyone to fall into the manhole. It was raining so heavily that day that it would have been easy to miss the manhole,” she said, adding that when she decided to open the lid, many bikes that had been parked on the road were already floating away.
Woman stands in rain for seven hours to warn vehicles about open manhole, video viral
Locals have said that were it not for her quick thinking, Tulsi Pipe Road could have remained flooded for long.
Kallar hoped that the donations will ensure that Janaki and Tamilshree’s education is not disrupted any further. “I never thought so many people would even care about my plight.”