A 34-year-old Indian migrant is being hailed as a hero for jumping onto the train tracks to save a woman from an oncoming train in New York. Anil Vannavalli, an IT professional, didn’t think twice before getting rid his backpack and jumped onto the tracks when his co-worker 26-year-old Madhuri Recherla fainted and fell on the tracks and a train wasn’t far away.
While doing this heroic act, he was robbed while saving a female co-worker from an oncoming train in New Jersey, and was later rewarded by the police. But a heartless thief stole his backpack which contained his laptop and some cash.
Anil Vannavalli was waiting for a train at the Edison platform in New Jersey in the morning hours of April 28 when his co-worker, Madhuri Recherla, fainted and fell on the tracks, NJ.com reported. According to police, Vannavalli dropped his backpack and jumped on the tracks with two other commuters to carry Recherla to safety.
While he was busy saving the woman’s life, someone snatched the backpack. The backpack contained Vannavalli’s work laptop, three pairs of headphones valued at $700, about $200 in cash, his work identification card and train tickets, said police officials.
“This theft, perpetrated in the midst of such a selfless good deed, seems so very disgusting and outrageous,” police chief Thomas Bryan said. The Edison Police Union awarded Vannavalli, a resident of Piscataway, N.J., with a $1,000 check for his selfless act.
Recherla, 26, regained consciousness shortly after police arrived. She was taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Medical Centre where she was treated for a broken knee and ankle.
The woman later said she lost consciousness and collapsed because she did not have time to eat or drink anything as she was trying to make it to the train station on time, News 12 New Jersey reported. Vannavalli reportedly came to his colleague’s rescue just before a train pulled into the station.
He later said he was glad she survived but was disappointed that someone decided to take advantage of the situation. No arrests have been made in the case yet. Meanwhile, a GoFundMe campaign was launched to show appreciation for Vannavalli for his valiant act.
The GoFundMe’s campaign, billed as the Anil Vannavalli Appreciation Fund and initiated by residents/friends of Villas of Fairway in Piscataway, where Vannavalli resides, has so far raised $1,427 of its $2,000 goal. The funds were presented to Vannavalli on May 7th.