Shiva Sharma was born and brought up in Bhuntar, Himachal Pradesh. He is 34 years old and a bus driver by profession. He has done his schooling from Bhuntar itself. He stays with his wife and 10-year-old son.
He has been driving on these roads since the last 15 years and says he knows every corner of every road in the valley. Earlier, Shiva used to work at his father’s hotel at Bhuntar but later got bored of that.
“I thought, I can drive the bus as one of my friends was already in that business. I approached my friend and managed to get the driver’s job. I worked with him for nine years without a vacation and later I bought my own private bus which I drive now,” he said.
Shiva has three people working under him, one as a driver and two as conductors who work in different shift. His bus runs from Manali to Manikaran via Bhuntar. He is planning to purchase another bus so he can add another route and get more income to stabilise his family.
“Rains that took place in the last week of September 2018, the water destroyed everything that came in its way. The Beas river was flowing over its mark and all the roads were shut down due to landslides at some places. The roads were washed away on the way to Manali,” he said.
Shiva had never seen this in the last 10 years and all this happened with just three days rain. “I had gone to Man Talai last year, I saw the size of the glaciers have reduced in comparison to what I had seen five years back. The change is visible to the naked eye,” he said with horror.
One of the conductors who works in his bus, Shiva met him on the road to Bhuntar when he was going home after a shift. “He had met with an accident and was down on the road. I got down from the bus and picked him up. He was severely injured, so I took him to the hospital on my bus and helped to get him treated. Later, when he was fine, I got to know that he had no job and was in need of money,” he said.
Shiva asked him if he was ready to work for him and he agreed. “I took him to my house and gave him a room as a paying guest. It has been five years since this incident and he is still working with me. We are more like brothers now. His name is Pavan and he thanks me for everything I did for him,” he said.
Pavan has started his own family and has a 3-year-old daughter. Pavan says, if it was not for Shiva that day, he could not imagine what would have happened and where he would be now. He is proud of himself that he is now financially fine and also has a family to take care of.
People like Shiva are genuinely nice and they are not selfish. They want to grow together and not let anybody down. Shiva is also proud that Pavan took the opportunity and now soon he will be a partner in his next bus purchase.
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