Meet Harpreet Devi, a 37-year-old resident of the city of Bhatinda in Punjab who is no less than a mini-celebrity in his region. But the reason behind his popularity will surely leave you in awe! Harpreet has been driving his Fiat-Premier Padmini in reverse since the last 14 years. He can take his car through narrow city streets and on inter-city expressways, all while driving in reverse. Harpreet has even got a unique Driving License issued by the Punjab Government that allows him to drive backwards anywhere in the state.
Here’s Harpreet’s rather amazing story about how he managed to become India’s reversing driver!
Harpreet Devi’s tryst with reversing his car started as a compulsion, rather than a hobby. While returning from a party in 2003, his car (a Premier Padmini) developed a fault due to which Harpreet wasn’t able to move out of the reverse gear. Since it was late at night in a remote location in Punjab, he decided to drive the car back home in reverse. He managed to get home safely and was intrigued by the ease with which he could manoeuvre around while driving backwards.
Owing to financial limitations, Harpreet wasn’t able to get the gears on his car fixed and thus started driving in reverse. Eventually, he became comfortable with the idea. As a result, when he finally had enough funds to fix the car, he instead added three new reverse gears. As a result, Harpreet’s reversing car now has 4 reverse gears and 1 to go forward. He has even installed headlights at the back of the car to aid visibility during night drives, and also has a warning siren that alerts other road users about his unconventional driving style.
Harpreet now claims that he feels a lot safer while driving backwards that while driving in the regular way. The state government too has acknowledged Harpreet’s ability to carefully drive his car in reverse and has thus given a special driving license. This allows Harpreet to drive his car backwards, at speeds of up to 50 km/h, throughout the state of Punjab.
Here’s a video in which Harpreet is seen showing his antics!
Article Created using inputs from Barcroft Cars!