Cutting across party lines, members of the Tripura Assembly on June 21 praised Swapan Debbarma, 45, and his teenage daughter who last week averted a train accident saving the lives of over 2,000 passengers.
Health and science and technology minister Sudip Roy Barman raised the issue in Zero hour and requested chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb and the House to extend a befitting reward to the two.
Deb told the House that Debbarma’s name would be recommended to the central government and the railways ministry for help and a reward.
Members of both treasury and opposition benches praised Debbarma and his daughter as they sat in the VIP gallery witnessing the proceedings of the House.
On June 15, Debbarma and Somati were walking along the rail line at Ambassa in northern Tripura (under Dhalai district) when they saw that huge landslides following heavy rains had affected around a kilometre of the rail track.
Debbarma immediately removed his and his daughter’s shirts and waved them to stop the train.
“If we had not spotted the signal and stopped the train, it could have met with a severe accident,” Sonu Kumar Mandal, the driver of the train, had told the media.
Barman, who personally felicitated Debbarma, said the poverty-stricken tribal family of six survived by selling forest resources like firewood and bamboo in the local market.
An official from Northeast Frontier Railway headquarters in Assam’s Maligaon told news agency IANS that recently the railway authority had felicitated a man from Assam’s Nagaon for a similar act.
“If the Tripura government recommends the name of Swapan Debbarma and his daughter, we would definitely consider felicitating them,” said the official, who did not want to be named.