New Delhi: Hima, 9, is courage personified. She was unruffled when her mother's palm was shattered. She was unflappable as militants pointed a gun at her head; not to forget her gently reminding them of the worthiness of humaneness.
On Republic Day, the nation will honour Hima for her bravery. Himapriya is a class IV student of Kendriya Vidyalaya, Udhampur. Her father is an Army jawan from Andhra Pradesh posted in Kashmir.
On the night of February 10, Jaish militants infiltrated the Army's Sunjuwan camp where the family resided. Her father was on duty and at home were her mother, Padmavathi; and siblings Rishita and Avantika. Padmavathi's palm had shattered as a grenade thrown by the militants exploded.
Hima opened the door and was held captive by the militants. She engaged them in a conversation, for about four hours. This prevented further assault on her mother and siblings. Her repeated pleas to allow her mother to be taken to the hospital were allowed. Hima alerted the Army after they reached a safe distance. The Jaish militants were subsequently captured.
The Army said Hima's intervention not only led to the capture of the terrorists but also limited casualty escalation.
The Indian Council for Child Welfare said that she was picked for the bravery award considering these factors.
Hearing the news of bravery award, Padmavathi hugged her daughter tight, unmindful of the pain of the debilitated palm, its fingers lost. Hima too was teary eyed, probably anguished by her mother's pain.
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