A teenage Muslim girl in India was honoured with the Rani Laxmibai bravery award on Tuesday by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav for saving a 6-year-old Hindu girl from kidnappers in August last year.
In August last year, 15-year-old 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.
Disregarding 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 flew from the scene.
Soon after she rescued the little girl, Dimpy, Nazia realised that she was her junior from school.
Today, despite tensions between the two communities, Dimpy’s parents treat Nazia as their own daughter and are indebted to her for saving their daughter from the kidnappers.
Speaking to Times of India after receiving her award, Nazia said her actions were natural and she didn’t hesitate.
“It was about 12.30pm when I heard Dimpy’s cries for help. I just rushed to her and caught hold of her hand,” she 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 while recalling the moment. “The suspects finally gave up and fled.”
Since the incident happened just 100 metres away from their school, Nazia 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 (sister) had been awarded for her bravery.
Nazia described the award ceremony as a moment of pride for her, adding that she would do the same if something like this ever happens again. The award also carries a cheque of Indian rupees one lakh.
Manager of Saghir Fatima Mohammadia Girls Inter College, Haji Jamiluddin Qureshi said, “There is no religious discrimination in our school. Even the students do not discriminate among themselves because of their religious beliefs.”
He added,”In our school we have Muslim girls learning Sanskrit and Hindus girls taking lessons in Urdu.”