Teen Muslim girl gets bravery award for saving Hindu classmate from kidnappers
RA: Amidst the communally surcharged atmosphere in Agra following the killing of VHP leader Arun Mahor, this is a story that both communities need to take lessons from and then celebrate it. 15-year-old Nazia was on Tuesday awarded the Rani Laxmibai bravery award by chief minister, Akhilesh Yadav, for saving a 6-year-old Hindu girl from kidnappers in August last.
It was the afternoon on August 7, when Nazia, a student of Saghir Fatima Mohammadia Girls Inter College, was returning home when she heard cries for help from a young girl, who was being forcibly pulled on a motorcycle by two youths. Unmindful of her own safety, Nazia rushed to the girl’s help and held her hand and managed to pull her away from the kidnappers, who then fled the spot.
It was only after she had rescued the girl, Dimpy, Nazia learnt that she was her junior from school. Today, when tension prevails between the two communities, Dimpy’s parents treat Nazia as their own daughter and are indebted to her for saving their child from the clutches of the kidnappers.
Talking to TOI on phone after receiving her award, Nazia said her actions were spontaneous and she didn’t hesitate even for a second to think about her own safety. “It was about 12.30 PM when I heard Dimpy’s cries for help. I just rushed to her and caught hold of her hand”, she said.
Recalling the moment, Nazia said, “It was like a tug of war for 2 minutes. While they tried pulling her on the motorcycle, I kept pulling her back”, she said adding that the suspects finally gave up and fled.
Nazia said since the incident had happened near Sadarbhatti area, which is just 100 meters away from their school, she immediately rushed there with Dimpy and informed the Principal. “Dimpy was crying. After the school authorities informed the police, I took her home to her parents”, she said adding that she is now treated as a daughter in Dimpy’s home.
When contacted, Dimpy said she was very happy that “didi” had been awarded for her bravery. “Agar didi uss din na hoti to woh log mujhe le jaate (they would have taken me away that day if ‘didi’ hadn’t been there)”, she said.
Describing the award ceremony as a moment of “pride” for her, Nazia said she would do the same if something like this ever happens again. The award also carries a cheque of Rs one lakh.
Haji Jamiluddin Qureshi, Manager of Saghir Fatima Mohammadia Girls Inter College, said, “There is no religious discrimination in our school. Even the students do not discriminate between themselves because of their religious beliefs”. He said, “In our school we have Muslim girls learning Sanskrit and Hindus girls taking lessons in Urdu”.