On Wednesday, August 15, 2018, the nation celebrated its 72nd year of Independence from the British Raj. In honour of all those unsung heroes that have made the nation proud with their extraordinary achievements, Republic TV aired a special broadcast called ‘Heroes Of India’. In line with the theme of this broadcast, one such modern-day freedom fighter came on the show. Sunil Bhagwantrao Toke who is an ASI in the Mumbai Police is on a mission to expose the rot within the police system. For over three decades Mumbai’s whistleblower super cop waged a lonely battle against the corrupt within the system.
While speaking to Republic TV, this unstoppable man of honour said, “Ever since I joined police in 1985, I have been fighting against corruption, I had been informing senior officers such as the ACP or the DCP about it. I would tell them the actions of a few personnel brought a bad name to the police department and has destroyed the image of the police forces. I urged them to act against them.”
This righteous cop’s will to expose the rot within the system has come at a cost. Not only has he faced unimaginable pressure from his bosses but has also been transferred 12 times since he joined the police force in 1985. Unfazed by this, Sunil Toke said, “I am not scared of losing my life, because me and my family are proud of the fact whatever it may be, we are not stealing anything from others, the salary earned every month is through earnest means and my entire family is proud of me. We are not living at the expense of others.”
This anti-corruption crusader has unearthed several cases of corruption and has vowed to fight against the menace till its very end. According to media reports, Toke has even fined his own son for not wearing a helmet while driving.
In addition to Toke, yet another unsung hero of the nation is Rajaram Joshi. The Vashi Creek Bridge in Mumbai has a reputation of being a suicide spot. But Rajaram Joshi is on a mission to change that. A fisherman by profession, Rajaram who has saved over 35 lives uses his friend's boat to save individuals.
While talking to Republic TV about the same, this hero without a cape said, "when we were in school, we used to have holidays in the month of may. A 12-year-old had jumped into the water. I removed him at that time. After my first rescue, in 2006 I rescued a lady. She was pregnant. I started realising that my life was being utilised in the service of others."
Recalling an experience of rescuing someone, he said, "When he saw me in the boat he got restless. He hinted me to save him. He left the rope he was latching onto. If one leaves the rope, they will keep flowing downstream. I jumped into the water and he immediately held onto me. I went down with him. I had a friend with me. His name was Anand Bhagat. I told him to not let go of this kid. I saved his life. In 2015, a lady was in the waters. I swam to her and saved her. She also held onto me. This happened twice that somebody hugged me. But I must say this was not a hug of love, it was a death's call (laughs).”
Rajaram saved a life when he was just 12 years old and now he's on a mission- to save precious lives come what may. This hero gets no recognition or no monetary help- but does it to give people a second chance at life.