Friday, December 27, 2013

The Bravery and Selflessness of 14 Year Old Gunjan Sarma

I saw this news item on the web and felt a curious mixture of feelings - from great warmth and happiness, to awe and finally to hope. To see such bravery and courage, clarity of thought and conviction, selflessness and concern for others, in one so young gives me so much hope that I can forgive all the crimes that the older and more powerful people in our world are doing. With people like young Gunjan around, the world is always in a safe place.
Gunjan Sarma - Braveheart and an inspiration

Gunjan Sarma is a Class VIII th student of Nazira School in Shivsagar district, Assam. On December 4th their school bus was taken hostage by a fleeing gunman. However the bus driver ran the bus into a ditch and stopped it. The desperate gunman got off and took a child as hostage and started to make his way into the jungles nearby. The child began to cry.

It was then that Gunjan volunteered to go as hostage instead of the other child, thereby ensuring the safety of the 12 other children on board the bus. The gunman took her into the nearby jungles where she remained his hostage through the night. As the security forces surrounded the jungles, the gunman panicked and left Gunjan in the middle of the jungle and fled. This was around midnight (imagine a 14 year old girl, all alone in the dark of a jungle, not knowing where to go and how to handle the creatures of the wild!). Tired, alone and hungry, young Gunjan stumbled along in the pitch dark until she came to a tea estate next morning by dawn. The workers there informed the police.

The Assam government has now instituted a bravery award, the first of which goes to Gunjan on New Year's Day. It is a matter of immense joy and hope to find such qualities and one can only hope and wish that Gunjan has been able to inspire many more youngsters on the path of courage, bravery, nobility, selflessness and sacrifice. Exemplary stuff and a salute to the young lady!

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