I live on highway, if I don’t help, who will: Driver who rescued Rishabh Pant | India News

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GURGAON: Few know the Delhi-Dehradun route better than Sushil Kumar, who has been on the highway every other day for almost a decade. It’s been over a month now that the Haryana Roadways driver has been assigned the Haridwar-Panipat route.
His is typically the red-eye shuttle, starting from the holy city at 4.25am. Friday was no exception. An hour into his journey – near the Narsan border in Roorkee – Kumar saw a car crash into the divider at high speed. He parked his bus at a safe distance to avoid collision and rushed out with his colleague, Paramjeet, to the rescue of the man stuck inside the mangled car.
Kumar had no idea that the man he was pulling out was star wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant. “All I knew was that the man needed to be rescued. For me, it was the call of conscience. Had I been late in responding, the car would have exploded. I live on the highway. If I do not help, who will?” asks Kumar (42).
On Saturday, he was back at work as usual. Since childhood, Kumar had the “unusual ambition” of driving a Roadways bus, which would not satisfy his intrepid side but also earn him respect in his village in Karnal for holding a “coveted government job”.
But Friday was not the first time the 42-year-old lent a helping hand. When Covid raged in 2020, he offered to ferry migrant workers who had started the long trek home.
In 2008, he applied for the post of a driver in the Haryana Roadways and made it to the merit list. The appointment letter, however, kept him waiting. Tired and frustrated, Kumar took up a job as a private driver in Saudi Arabia in 2012. Two years later, he returned to his “dream job” when the government announced the recruitment list.
With a decade-old experience, Kumar knows that it’s the break of dawn when drivers find it difficult to keep their eyes open. On Friday, he was driving 33 people when instinct alerted him that the Mercedes in front was out of control. “I knew the car was about to crash. So, I slowed down. My first instinct was to avoid a collision and save the passengers in the bus.”
Pant, he recalls, was conscious when Kumar and Paramjeet rushed to his rescue. “He asked us how he landed on the divider. We gave him first aid and called the ambulance and police,” says Paramjeet (30).



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