By Rafiq Vayani
DUBAI: Cheetay held a grand ceremony to honour the bravery of Haider Ali, a 19 year old rider who rescued five people including an elderly woman from a sinking car last Friday.
The well-attended ceremony held at the Cheetay head office in Lahore was covered by leading news channels. The guest of honour, Haider, attended the event with his parents and brothers. He was received by loud cheers of his colleagues and dhol (drums) music.
“Young people who take responsibility and feel for fellow beings are both a source of hope and inspiration for us. Haider Ali reminds us that goodness is alive and well,” said Syeda Shehrbano Kazim, Chief of Staff, Cheetay, who awarded the courageous employee with a brand new Honda motorcycle and a medal for this selfless act.
In a late night traffic jam near Bahria Town and Sukh Chan gardens, a speeding car overturned another vehicle into the canal. The Cheetay rider, en route to his next delivery destination, saw the incident and jumped instantly to save the family trapped in the car.
“I didn’t think twice about jumping. I knew it had to be done,” said Haider. “Amma (an elderly woman) was the first one that I pulled out to safety.”
He helped pull the trapped passengers out to safety from the car. The passengers, three men and two women, were entrusted to bystanders who had come to their aid.
Usama Pervaiz, a Jazz employee who witnessed the incident, took to LinkedIn to share photos of the heroic act. The post has since received more than 5000 reactions. It reads, “Not all superheroes wear a cape. Goodness still exists!”
Diligent to his duty even when drenched, Haider recovered his phone from his bike and returned to work. As soon as the Cheetay rider reached his office, his colleagues helped him wear a raincoat and gave him tea and a painkiller for his headache. “I didn’t notice how cold the canal water was at the moment of the rescue but I was shivering afterwards,” said Haider.
Originally from Sheikhupura, Haider works in Lahore along with his 3 brothers. His sister and parents reside in their hometown. When asked to comment on the incident and all the media attention, the humble young man did not take credit for his bravery but instead considered himself lucky to have helped save lives.
“We should celebrate and reward our national heroes and Cheetay is exactly doing that,” said Maha Shah, Head of PR & Social Impact Programs, Cheetay. “Now the media and the government should play their part in promoting Haider’s story.”