Railway announcer Vishnu Zende and Railway Protection Force (RPF) constable Jillu Yadav were overwhelmed after meeting the US President on Saturday. But they have one regret, not getting a photograph with him.
Zende, 40, and Yadav, 54, had saved many lives during the attacks on November 26, 2008. They were invited to attend the function at the Taj Mahal Hotel, where US President Barack Obama paid homage to victims of the 26/11 terror attack.
“It’s a great feeling to meet the President of the United States,” said Zende.
Zende said they were introduced to Obama as the people who helped save lives of several people on that night. “He shook hands with all of us and said you have done a commendable job," said Zende.
For Yadav, it was a moment of recognition for his entire force. "He said something to me in English which I couldn’t understand, but when he smiled at me I knew he was appreciating my work,” said Yadav, adding, “My family is very proud of me."
However, both Yadav and Zende are disappointed that they couldn’t get a photograph with the President. “My family had asked me to get a photo as a souvenir, but I couldn’t but get one due to security arrangements," said Yadav.
On 26/11 when two Pakistani terrorists, Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab and Abu Ismail, opened fire at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Zende was in the announcer's cabin. Since the cabin was at a height, he kept announcing the terrorists’ location for over 25 minutes.
While other policemen were fleeing, Yadav had thrown a plastic chair in the direction of the two terrorists to distract them. He also fired at them from his .303 rifle.