Meet Indian father- who spends salary filling potholes to save our lives

Potholes accidents are ‘deadly’. There have been several accidents and deaths due to an increased count of potholes in India. The road contractors and higher authorities are taking time to fix it and it is too late to find out people dying due to this.

You never know what would happen when anyone bumps into it accidentally. Deaths due to ‘potholes’ is frightening the people who travel on roads in India. In fact, pothole deaths sparked a new controversy on inefficiency and corruption among municipal and road-owning authorities.

Dadarao filling a pothole. Source: Facebook

Dadarao Bilhore, Mumbai resident who runs a grocery store in Andheri, has filled up close to 600 potholes in the city after his 16-year-old son died because of a pothole on a road 3 years ago. As per the reports, his son by the name of Prakash passed away on July 28, 2015 after his bike accidentally fell into a deep pothole on rainwater clogged Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road (JVLR) in the city.

“Baba, we are hurt. We fell off the bike. We are rushing to the Holy Spirit Hospital, they told me,” Dadarao Bilhore says in an exclusive interview with The Better India.

“I told the family that the boys had fallen off the bike. When they asked to accompany me, I told them that I didn’t think the injuries would be that bad. So I left alone. I received a second call when I was halfway to the hospital.

They told me my Prakash had succumbed to a brain haemorrhage. Ram was being treated; he was shaken up and critical. At that moment, my world had come crashing down. Only the other day, he was shopping online telling me how he wanted branded clothes for college. And at 16, my son was dead.”

“I observed how authorities waited until someone died to fill potholes and file FIRs. I couldn’t let any more people die like Prakash. I decided to do it on my own. Using broken paver block, mud and stones, I started filling potholes. When I saw cars and motorists easily passing over them, I thought I should continue it. And so my journey began.

When someone asked me why I fill potholes I tell them, I have lost my kid, I don’t want you to lose yours. It is a tribute to my son. Whenever I fill one pothole, I feel I have saved someone. My son didn’t return, but somebody else’s son will go home safe. So what if my clothes get stained, or my arms get muddy? It doesn’t matter.”

After his death, Bilhore decided to fix the problems on road all by himself. So, he started filling up potholes in a bid to counter such accidents.

He also has a message to motorists as he requests them not to speed. “Please wear helmets and even if you are riding with another person, invest in an extra helmet for them or tell them to wear their own. I regret not giving Prakash a helmet, even though he was riding pillion.”

It’s been three and a half years since Prakash’s death, there has been no rest for his father as he  took countless trips to the high court, police station, BMC offices, but sadly all of them were to no avail.

He has also registered an FIR case against the BMC officials and the contractor responsible for the maintenance, but sadly, they were out on bail. It may be noted that the pothole was dug due to some construction work and no barricades or signs had been placed as a caution/warning at the site. “Justice is not delivered, it is earned. I will fight for my son. Many others have started filing cases for compensations after our case. And I hope the authorities will take the required action.”

(With inputs from The Better India)