There’s water for as far as the eye can see and in the distance, a boy can be seen stumbling but running, but there’s no indication of the bridge the boy is running on. At a distance behind the boy, a vehicle can be seen, following the boy’s lead. He helps direct the vehicle safely across the bridge, which is later identified to be an ambulance.
The boy in the video was 12-year-old Venkatesh, a Class VI student in Government Primary School at Hirerayanakumpe village of Raichur district, The New Indian Express reported after tracing the boy to a rehabilitation centre at Shavantgera in Raichur.
Venkatesh was playing with a group of friends when an ambulance carrying six children and a woman's dead body to Machanoor village in Yadgir district found itself in a precarious position amid rising water levels.
The driver, Manju of Prasanna Ambulance services, called the group of boys to help guide him across the flooded area and Venkatesh volunteered. He guided the ambulance by wading through the water in an act that has since been hailed on social media.
“I really don’t know if what I did was an act of bravery or not. I just wanted to help the driver. The driver of the ambulance asked me whether there was a way to go into the stream and if he could drive the ambulance on the bridge. I showed the way. I do not know what is meant by help, bravery etc," said Venkatesh, speaking to The New Indian Express.
Venkatesh's act was broadcasted by several news channels and was a topic of discussion on social media in Karnataka.
Twitter users called for the boy to be recommended for the Shaurya award for bravery for risking his life to guide the ambulance.
Small in Stature, Big in Heart— Shreekanth S Huddar (@ShreeSHuddar) August 11, 2019
Salute this Boy from #Bagalkot, #Karnataka. He guided ambulance safely to cross the overflowing bridge risking his own life. #KarnatakaRain #KarnatakaFloods #FloodRelief @KiranKS @narendramodi pic.twitter.com/WbEen4Kae2
The boy put his life in danger to lead the ambulance. Wow, just wow! I have no words to describe his courage!@mani1972ias Sir, request you to recommend him for Shaurya award this year or please bring it to the officials/CM who would do it.#KarnatakaFloods https://t.co/7qOZdC83Yu— Srujana Deva #StopHindiImposition (@SrujanaDeva) August 12, 2019
The heroes R created by the Situations.— Mahantesh Vakkund (@MahantVakkund) August 11, 2019
A brave boy walks the river to guide the Ambulance to show the road.
Location: Krishna Nadi, Devadurga - Yadgir Rd of KA.
He must be given a presidential award@CMofKarnataka @rashtrapatibhvn @narendramodi @PMOIndia pic.twitter.com/rEusmwfIuv
Waters receded in the northern Karnataka districts of Raichur, Belagavi and Bagalkot on Tuesday after rainfall reduced in the upper Krishna river basin in Maharashtra. In a relief to rescue groups involved, moderate rainfall has been predicted in the region for the next few days.
One column of the army and two NDRF teams are currently carrying out rescue operations in Raichur district. More than 10,000 people have been rescued and evacuated in Raichur and Yadgir districts so far.