37-year-old Mahesh Sutar and his friends are not just saving people from attempting suicide, but have also removed more than 45 dead bodies from the Vashi creek.
Helping Navi Mumbai police uniquely, Mahesh Sutar is one of those few people who are doing something which not everybody would want to do. Mahesh with his friends has saved people from jumping in Vashi creeks and has also removed many dead bodies from the water. This Navi Mumbai fisherman along with his squad is doing this job for the last 4 years, and here's how it all started.
" I was 14-15 years old at that time. I would see these dead bodies floating on the water, and noticed that nobody was willing to take them out. By the time I turned 18, I started informing the police about these bodies. They then asked me to notify them about it the next time I see it. Since then I have been informing them about it and have helped the police getting these bodies from the creek.", he says.
While removing the bodies and literally running from here and there to stop someone from jumping, Mahesh faces many troubles. " Whenever we get to know that someone is attempting suicide, we leave everything and go to save their life. We sometimes even leave our fishnets and when we come back it's either broken or lost. Human life is very precious and so we do not think twice". Mahesh has lost 25 of his fishnets as of now. This may sound like a small deal to us but for him, it is a big thing. " These nets are priced between Rs.800- Rs.1,000. Moreover, the nets require specific stitching which takes around a week, so it is indeed big trouble for us.", he explains.
Mahesh along with his friends Santosh Bhagat and Datta Bhoir has been doing this noble work for the last 4 years. They convince people to not attempt suicide, work with the Police and give their 100%. " Sometimes it takes a day to find a dead body. Sometimes we find it after 4 days, a week, or even beyond that. If we get a body after 14-15 days, it becomes very difficult. The condition of such a body is so bad that you would not want to go near or see them. It stinks badly, and it definitely isn't an easy task.", he says.
Initially, Mahesh used to inform the police about such suicide, but now the Navi Mumbai police inform Mahesh about them. " Sometimes the family calls up the police and informs them about the suicide. The police then call us and we keep making rounds at the bridge. There was a 19-year-old girl who had a fight with her fiancé, and soemone from her family called the police. Thankfully we were able to reach on time, and explained her how ending her life is not going to help her in anyway.", he says.
From stopping people to convincing them to see them die, to pulling the dead bodies, Mahesh has seen all the trouble people have to go through." When I had started removing, it would later constantly run in my mind, haunt me and I would remember such instances even when I'll eat or sleep. The thought of lifting the bodies, and putting them in the ambulance would flash in front of my eyes. But then with time, I got habitual to it. Now, It does not bother me much.", he says.
Though Mahesh's journey is filled with dark details, and sad moments, there are times when things cheer him up. " I remember I was having my lunch one day, and the police called me. There was a women who had attempted suicide. I left everything, and immediately ran to help. The crowd had gathered as she had already jumped into the creek. We again ran down the bridge, the police had also joined me, and luckily we found her. Thankfully she was alive. Her family later invited me to their home for a lunch.", he says.
Mahesh has an 11-year-old son and plans to pass on this responsibility to him. " He is young and knows swimming pretty well. He has also seen me taking these bodies. I will hand over this responsibility to my son Prayanshu in the future.", he says.
Mahesh Sutar is definitely a hero! To all those who are struggling with issues and those who are fighting their wars, Mahesh has a beautiful message to convey. " I just want people to understand that problems are going to be there. Please face it, and take care of your family. You will find the courage and you will find a solution. Please don't give up."
We hope you never have to face this trouble, god forbid but if you come across any of this, one can get in touch with him on 9768762777.
Suicide Helpline in Mumbai:
Samaritans Mumbai: 084229 84529
Aasra: 91 9820466726
Hitguj help number: 91 022 24131212