‘Petrol Uncle’ is Santa for motorists

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BANGALORE, December 16:  A fuel tank that reads empty at an inopportune time, especially at night with no petrol station in sight, is every motorist’s nightmare. Making sure that such desperate motorists who cross his path aren’t stranded is ‘Petrol Uncle’ Mohammad Arif Sait.

Mr. Sait sits outside a petrol outlet on Coles Road (near Fraser Town) from 11 p.m. to 12.30 a.m. every day with 10 bottles of petrol, worth at least Rs. 50 each, to help motorists who arrive after the outlet is closed at 11 p.m. He has done this for the last five years.

“There hasn’t been a single night when people haven’t come pushing their vehicle to the petrol station. I give them water to drink, and petrol to reach the nearest open pump,” he says proudly.

What goes around

It started when his scooter ran out of petrol one night. “I went in an auto and fetched petrol in a bottle from the nearest petrol outlet. I refilled the bottle and kept it with me. The same night, I saw a person pushing his vehicle on the road. He had run out of petrol. I gave him the bottle. He thanked me profusely. This prompted me to do this regularly,” Mr. Sait said.

He takes his spot every night after shutting his footwear store on Commercial Street.

He refuses to accept the money offered for the petrol by those he helps. All he asks is that the motorist fill the bottle at the nearest open fuel station and return it, so he can give it to others.

“Initially I used to spend around Rs. 1,000 a month,” he says. “The cost was nothing compared to the satisfaction I got from helping those in need. Now, I do not have to spend any money. Motorists refill the bottle return it to me.”

Mr. Sait’s family has not been able to convince him to stop this “service” even after two heart surgeries and a fractured leg. “I have made it clear I will continue this service till my last day. In fact, I feel healthier because of all the blessings.”

Recently, he was approached by a company to act in its ad films. A Kannada film director too has offered him a special appearance.

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