Italian authorities have hailed the bravery of a homeless Bangladeshi immigrant for saving a woman from drowning.
Sobuj Khalifa, an illegal Bangladeshi immigrant saved a woman from drowning in Rome.
They were so impressed with the chivalry of the 32-year-old that they granted him a year’s permit to remain in the city.
For Khalifa, it was just another day of hardship when he spotted a body in the River Tiber.
“At first I thought it was a big fish but then I realised it was a human,” he was quoted as saying in The Telegraph.
Seeing the strong current carrying the woman, Khalifa yelled for help but no one responded.
“I dived into the river without even taking off my shoes. I wasn’t afraid,” he said.
He managed to pull the 55-year-old woman, who was still conscious, to safety.
The woman, who was an Israeli Jew living in Rome, had jumped into the river in an apparent suicide attempt, the report said.
Khalifa, who has been living on Rome’s streets since 2008, was initially granted a permit to live in the city but it had expired some years ago. He now lives along the banks of the Tiber.
According to the report, he makes a living by selling roses to diners in restaurants and umbrellas to pedestrians when it rains.
He has told police that he barely makes 50 Euros a week and sends some of the money to his ailing mother in Bangladesh.
Rome’s Mayor Ignazio Marino called to congratulate him.
“I was very moved, I’ve never felt so happy,” he told the Italian press.
Italy has the second largest Bangladeshi community in Europe after Britain.