The staff were surprised that their small gesture, which came out of concern for the woman passenger, would become newsworthy.

This Kerala govt bus staff waited with woman passenger at night until her kin arrived
news Human Interest Tuesday, June 12, 2018 - 19:24

In a heart-warming gesture, the driver and conductor of an interstate Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) bus waited along with a woman passenger, who had alighted at a lonely bus stop late on Sunday night, until her family came to get her.

On Sunday, driver K Gopakumar (41) and conductor Shaiju (40), who ply the Thiruvananthapuram – Coimbatore route every week, decided to bend the bus schedule a bit to ensure the safety of their passenger.

The passenger, Athira Jayan, who works for Indigo, had bought a ticket till Kollam. When the bus reached her stop, she alighted at the deserted Sankaramangalam bus stop.

“She boarded the bus from Athani, near Angamaly, which is very close to Nedumbassery airport. It was raining heavily and once we reached Kollam, she got down at Sankaramangalam at about 1.30 am. The stop was deserted. We asked her if anyone would come to pick her up. She said her brother was coming and told us we could leave. But we decided to stay back till her brother came,” said Gopakumar, who has been a KSRTC driver since 2008.

The driver and conductor told Athira that she could sit inside the bus till her brother arrived.

“We asked her to sit inside as it was pouring. We waited for 10 minutes by which time her brother came. We had to compromise on the schedule a bit, but thankfully there were only a few passengers and they were all sleeping, so nobody objected. Once Athira’s brother arrived, the duo thanked us and left,” Gopakumar said.

The crew’s exemplary gesture was duly noted and lauded by the public and authorities as well.

“A lot of messaged poured in on WhatsApp and social media congratulating me and Shaiju. We even received a call from the DTO asking us to come meet him,” Gopakumar said.

However, all this adulation comes a surprise for the KSRTC crew, who say that they had no idea their small gesture, which came out of concern for the passenger, would become trending news, following Athira’s Facebook post thanking them for waiting.

“I honestly didn’t think about it. We were even considering dropping her at the next stand in Karunagapalli, in case her family didn’t come. We were just anxious about her safety and once her family came we carried on with our duty. Then Shaiju (the conductor) told me that she had put up a post and it became news,” Gopakumar added.

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