On November 21, as a train was about to pass through the Chashara railgate near Chashara railway station, a man ran onto the tracks and lay prone before the mechanical behemoth.
The 50 year-old Billal, infuriated by the idiocy of the suicidal man sprinted to the rail tracks and dragged him from the metallic maw of the train by a hair-breadth. After rescuing the man from his planned death, Billal proceeded to whack him with an umbrella to knock some sense into him.
A video of the incident went viral on social media which brought the incident into the attention of the ministry and railway officials.
"I hoisted the red flag to signal the driver to stop the train, but within an instance, I realised it would be too late," Billal told AFP.
He added: "I knew I might die but I also knew if I didn't try to save him, a young stranger's face would haunt me for the rest of my life."
A reception was held in the honour of Billal Hossain Majumder, who is a temporary gateman for the Bangladesh Railway.
Railways Minister Mujibul Haque said Billal has made Bangladesh Railway and the nation itself very proud through his selfless, valiant action.
The minister rewarded Billal with Tk1lakh in cash, and a set of formal clothing.
Billal had asked the minister to employ him on a permanent basis but was declined because of his age.
However, the minister he would send an application to the president to considering it as a special case. If that failed, then Billal’s children will be provided with jobs based on their qualification.
Railway accidents are common in Bangladesh where some 40% of around 2,500 rail crossings are unmanned and exposed to fatal accidents.
In the last six years, 152 people have died in railway accidents. In addition, dozens of people, mostly drug addicts, choose railway tracks to kill themselves.