The horrific train accident at Sainthia that has claimed at least 63 lives also brought out the undying human spirit among ordinary people, among them was an 80-year-old woman who walked a long distance to donate blood for victims.Khojtaba Bibi has become an icon in Suri the headquarters of Birbhum district where Sainthia is located. She walked all the way from her village to the Suri district general hospital, where most of the injured in Monday's train accident have been admitted.
Sainthia is about 190 km from Kolkata. The Uttar Banga express on early Monday rammed into three coaches of the stationary Bhagalpur-Ranchi Vananchal Express at Sainthia.
"I have come to donate blood for injured passengers who are admitted in the hospital. I will die someday but before I die I want to have the satisfaction that I could save a precious life," said Khojtaba Bibi.
She was seen pleading with medical officers to allow her to give blood, claiming she was more fit than a 40-year-old. However,she finally returned disappointed as the hospital authorities said rules did not permit them to take blood from a person of her age.
But Khojtaba Bibi's act inspired many young men and women to donate blood for the injured.
"At first I was a bit hesitant about donating blood. But after seeing Khojtaba Bibi I thought if an 80-year-old woman could have such guts, then I can also do it," said Sheikh Iqbal.
In neighbouring Burdwan district,it was out of sheer kindness that Manika Mandal took care of seven-year-old Bholu. Both Bholu and his parents were inside the ill-fated Vananchal express. The whereabouts of Bholu's parents are still not known.
"I came to know from my husband that a seven-year-old boy had been admitted in Burdwan Medical College and Hospital. I rushed to the hospital to take care of the child out of my maternal instinct," said Mandal.
Her family members are now moving around the hospital with Bholu's photographs trying to locate his relatives.