Sheikh Arshad, a constable from Andhra Pradesh, has been widely appreciated for carrying a 58-year-old woman on his shoulders for nearly six kilometres, after she fainted out of exhaustion while trekking the Tirumala hills in the middle of a pilgrimage. Arshad, however, humbly says that he was only doing his duty. “When I saw her in a semi-conscious state, I thought of her as my mother and wanted to help her. There’s nothing great in what I did. It was just my duty, and service to Lord Venkateswara,” Arshad says.
Arshad, a Special Party Police constable from Kadapa, had been posted on duty in Tirumala for the security of pilgrims ahead of Vaikuntha Ekadasi, an auspicious occasion when many devotees make the pilgrimage to Tirumala on foot. On Wednesday, Arshad was walking along the Annamayya Margam when he was informed by some pilgrims about a woman who had fainted due to exhaustion nearby.
Police Constable Sheikh Arshad
According to Arshad, Mangi Nageswaramma, the woman who fainted, had high blood pressure and was lying in a semi-conscious state. “I offered her some dry fruits and we tried to get her to move, but she was unable to walk. Considering it my duty, I carried her on my shoulders and began to walk," he says. Arshad carried her for a distance of nearly six kilometres, to a hospital in Tirumala.
Annamayya Margam is a hilly path to the Lord Venkateswara shrine in Tirumala, and it goes through the forest area. Devotees consider the path to be holy. Before helping Nageswaramma, Arshad also helped another elderly man who was unable to continue his pilgrimage, by carrying him for a distance.
Arshad has been appreciated by Andhra Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP) Gautam Sawang, and Kadapa District Superintendent of Police (DSP) KKN Anburajan, and many others for his kind act. The DGP said it was “an inspirational act reflecting his devotion to duty".