The operator of a heavy-duty excavator, who stepped up to rescue people and clear rubble at the site of a building collapse in Maharashtra's Raigad on August 24, has earned a widespread appreciation from his "non-stop" work.
Kishore Bhagwat Lokhande worked for more than 30 hours as he was removing the debris of the building when the National Disaster Response Force and the fire department called off the search operations.
Many hailed Lokhande as a hero for his dedication and determination to rescue all those trapped under the debris.
"I got a call on Monday evening saying that I need to rush as a five-storey building has collapsed. I have been working continuously since then. I have only left the machine about four times - either to attend to nature's call or when some media persons wanted to click photos of me," Lokhande, who rescued at least 10 bodies.
"A lot of people have died, but I was very happy when the rescue teams pulled out a four-year-old boy alive from under the debris... I ate two samosas on Tuesday afternoon and khichdi at night... I felt that instead of eating I could use that time in rescuing people," the 24-year-old said.
Lokhande has been operating the excavating machines for six years now.