Hyderabad Heroes

Shiva Ilias Hanumanthu

It was about a decade ago when Shiva Ilias Hanumanthu lost his adopted brother Pavan. He died while trying to save a suicide victim. Since then, he has taken up the mission to save people who try to end their life by jumping into Hussainsagar Lake. Over the past few years, Shiva has prevented at least 110 suicides, and recovered countless bodies from the lake those that he couldn’t save. His usual day is spent patrolling around the lake in a vehicle recently donated by a Good Samaritan, after hearing about his work.

A retired officer also come forward to pay him a monthly remuneration of Rs 5,000. Shiva lives close to the lake in a tent, with his wife and a young child and rues the lack of safety gear at his disposal. He says he can do a better job, if the government provides some help. But he doesn’t ask for a fee or reward, for retrieving bodies or saving lives.

He takes whatever police officials offer voluntarily. Sometimes, he takes up small side roles in Telugu films to make some extra bucks.