Setting an example of honesty and of being an upstanding citizen, Mohan Shamrao Ghodvale, an auto driver, returned a bag full of jewellery and wedding trousseau to a family who had left it behind in his auto rickshaw.
Ghodvale, a resident of Hanuman Nagar, Nehru Nagar, Kurla (East), was waiting at Nehru Nagar state transport (ST) bus stand around 4 pm on Sunday when two women and a man hailedhis auto.
“The three of them were my first passengers of the day. They told me to take them to Dhammakranti Vihar, Patil Lane, Chunabhatti (East).
After ferrying them to their destination, I went towards Kurla (East) and picked up one of my regular customers who resides in Mulund. However, when we reached Ghatkopar, the woman noticed that there was a bag in my auto,” said Ghodvale.
Ghodvale then requested his customer to hail another auto, as he thought it was important to hand the bag back to the owners.
Meanwhile, the family realised that they had forgotten the bag in the rickshaw and worked up a big fluster. “My wife remembered about the bag and we realised we might have forgotten it in the auto. All my relatives asked me to approach Nehru Nagar police to report the missing bag,” said Kunwarlal Tembekar, adding that the bag contained his daughter’s wedding trousseau and jewellery costing around Rs 3 lakh.
Worried that his daughter’s nuptials would be ruined, he approached the local police chowky but it was shut. Tembekar then made his way to the main Nehru Nagar police station. However, he received a call from his family members informing him that the auto driver had arrived with the bag. “The auto driver handed us the bag and asked us to check it. But, we told him that if he brought it, there was no need to check. I did not expect the auto driver to return the bag, as we often hear of stories of how the city’s auto drivers are thugs,” added Tembekar, a resident of Nagpur.
Relieved and pleased, the family then requested Ghodvale to have dinner with them at the ceremony as a way to thank him for his honesty. But, Ghodvale refused to attend the ceremony and also declined any reward from them. “We finally put Rs 600 in his pocket for his good work,” said Tembekar.
A few good men
Speaking on his honesty, Ghodvale told MiD DAY, “Every day I pick up passengers from ST bus depot. The passengers are mostly new to the city and I would never cheat them. In fact, I usually try to help them. “I did not check the contents of the bag. But when I went to return it, I realised that it was very important to the family as they were crying over it. Everybody blessed me for my good work and that’s what I need. My two sons are happy with what I earn,” said Ghodavle, who has been an auto driver for the last 20 years.