Not all superheroes wear a cape and neither does this girl. The scene unfolded in 2009 when she was only 10-year-old but exhibited to extraordinary courage and willpower. Without worrying for her life, she chose fight over flight even in the worst case scenario.
Maibam Prity Devi comes from an ordinary family where they would carve a living out of their small grocery store, at Mayang in Imphal Bazar, Manipur. She would help her mother with the household chores as well as managing their store. Life wasn’t very eventful in this sleepy town of Northeastern India until an odd day in the summers of 2009.
Prity clearly remembers that it was March 30. They were not expecting it to be memorable but out of nowhere, a foreign object landed near LPG cylinder inside their grocery store. It only took one glance for her to realize that it was a lethal bomb.
The STD 5 student was transfixed on the spot; until she unfroze hearing her mother’s franatic scream, “Run away, run away”. But the 10-year-old knew it wasn’t the best thing to do as her father was sleeping at other end of the shop.
Reacting with her quick wit and action, Prity picked up the grenade, risking her own life, and threw it as far away as she could. Along with eight people nearby, she too suffered minor injuries from the explosion as the shards flew out and pierced her skin.
Such random yet life-threatening attacks on civilians were very common back in 2009. Many lives were lost because of these cruel, uncompassionate militant attacks. But on March 30 that year, it was purely because of the courageous act of this young girl that many lives were saved. She not only secured her father but also saved her mother, a handful of customers’ life.
What Prity did was unreal, to care for others’ life over her own. The fearlessness, quick wit, and agility in actions that this little girl showed is going to be an example for all of us. She was aptly awarded the prestigious National bravery award by the hands of our former president Pratibha Patil.
A part of Manipur is smiling today because of Prity. She’s truly a braveheart and her story must reach more and more people.