BUNTY RAO: A Mumbaikar “Lifeguard on Duty”

Life in a metro comprises cutthroat competition, every man living for himself, running at breakneck speed to move ahead. There is little to no time for people to think of their own relations, let alone some random person walking on the road. Even when someone attempts to make a difference in somebody else’s life, he or she is seldom noticed. Such an unsung hero lives in the busy city of Mumbai by the name of Bunty Rao.

Bunty Rao is a tall man who earns his living taking photographs of tourists and visitors thronging the Juhu beach with his Nikon DSLR camera. But, his real job is saving the lives of people who venture too far into the Indian ocean and are in the high risk of getting drowned.

Bunty’s T-shirt proudly says “Lifeguard on Duty” and he lets no stone unturned to live upto it. He has been working as a lifeguard with Baywatch Lifeguard Association(BLA), an NGO, for 16 years. A signboard with the name of the NGO is on display but amid busy eateries and entertainment options, people hardly glance at it.

Baywatch Lifeguard Association is an NGO that was established by Sayeed Shama, who realized that the security provided by BMC at beaches was not enough to prevent mishaps. He founded the NGO to train men in civil defense. These men were positioned in different areas of the Juhu beach. Apart from the trained lifeguards, Baywatch Lifeguard Association also provides first-aid training and practical education on how to deal with emergencies, to hawkers at the beach and regular visitors. The entire service incurs no cost to anyone.

Bunty has served the BLA with dedication that demands much appreciation. He has saved around 50 lives in 16 years, and he stays in the Juhu beach till 10pm every day to avoid accidents altogether. Stating that the most dangerous time of the year is Ganesh visarjan, when he needs to be extra-careful, Bunty makes sure that everyone remains safe, even when it is overcrowded.

Featured in several newspaper articles, Bunty Rao is not a Mumbaikar by birth. He came to the financial capital from his hometown Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, having left a career at SAP with the hope of living a better life. With a keen interest in photography, Bunty assisted in the making of a documentary. Eventually he also assisted in Insaan and Bewafa. He also gradually started conducting photo-shoots at parties, weddings, and corporate events and ventured into videography and making documentaries.

Today, Bunty earns a meagre Rs 500–600 per day, with which he is able to sustain his own and his family’s livelihood who live in Madh Island. A lifeguard in the true sense of the term, Bunty has no regrets. He is a self-motivated, genuine human being who is able to do what he really loves, and contributing in his own way to the welfare of the society as a whole. What drives him every day is his inner sense of responsibility toward mankind.

As the sun rises and vanishes into the horizon, this man, with the eyes of a hawk, single handedly and selflessly saves the precious lives of thousands of people, every single day.

This is high time people knew about this lifeguard, forever on duty in the Juhu beach, and ScripBros is proud to narrate this unsung hero’s story to the world. He deserves all accolades for his selfless service.

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