The most severe impact of COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown has been on people’s earnings. However, in such harsh and desperate times, a rickshaw driver emerged as an epitome of honesty in Pune. Vitthal Mapare is 60 years old, he found a bag with jewellery worth approximately ₹7 Lakh ($13,000) and some cash and returned it to its rightful owner.
On Wednesday, a couple took Vitthal Mapare’s three-wheeler rickshaw from Keshav Nagar area. Mapare dropped them at Hadapsar bus-stand. But, the couple accidentally forgot their bag on the rickshaw. Mapare says, “I stopped the rickshaw on BT Kawade road to have tea. There I saw a bag lying on the back seat of my rickshaw. I did not open it and took it straight to Ghorpadi post and gave it to the Sub Inspector Vijay Kadam.”
Sub Inspector Kadam told that upon opening the bag, he found 11 tolas gold jewellery and around ₹20000 ($400) in cash. The value of the entire bag was around ₹7 lakh. It also had some clothes. After that, he contacted the Hadapsar police station.
From there they got to know that Mahbub and Shehnaz Sheikh were already at the police station. They also had complained about losing the bag. The police handed over the bag to them at Mundhwa Police Station. Deputy commissioner of police Suhas Bacchae honoured Vitthal Mapare.
Mapare lives in a rented house. And his son works in a private company. But, truth and honesty are the most significant rewards for him. He is pleased with the compliments that he has been receiving for his honesty.