ANGUL: An intrepid little girl from Angul has etched her name in golden letters in the world of bravery. Eleven-year-old Prasanta Shandilya who fought the dacoits to thwart an attack on her parents has been chosen for the National Bravery Award.
Daughter of Brijesh Sandhilya, a senior manager of Jindal Steel and Power Limited here, Prasanta will be among the 20 children from across the country who will be honoured during the Republic Day function in Delhi. Five persons will be awarded posthumously.
Prasanta, a Class VI student of OP Jindal School at Angul, recounts the night of horror. On April 12, last year when the family was residing at Professor’s Colony, Godda, in neighbouring Jharkhand, five miscreants barged into their house at around 2.30 am. Brijesh along with wife Kalpana and two minor children were asleep when the dacoits cut open the grills, smashed the window panes, entered the house and were apparently searching for something, said Prasanta.
“When I woke up I found five persons beating up my father with sticks, iron rods and other weapons. Father’s eyes were filled with sand and he was almost blind. On the other hand, one of them pulled out a sickle while another brought out a screw driver and started assaulting my father again. On seeing me one of them with sticks rushed towards me and started beating me as well.
“My mother and my two-and-a-half-year-old brother Harsh were still asleep. When mom woke up, one of them with a stick in his hand rushed towards her. She jumped off the bed rushed to a corner and threw all the jewellery at them assuming that they were looking for it. Two burglars pounced on her menacingly and started assaulting her. By then father was bleeding profusely and mother was crying,” she said.
‘‘Finding things out of control, I gathered courage and crawled out of the room as the burglars continued to assault my parents. “Out of room, I got a mobile phone but did not use it fearing that the dacoits might spot me. I rushed to the kitchen, collected handfuls of red chili powder, returned to the bedroom and threw it into the eyes of the three persons beating my father. This created panic among them and all of them fled. After driving them away I called up my friends and police,’’ said Prasanta who aspires to be an IPS officer.
Brijesh received 15 stitches on head, face and stomach and suffered from internal and external injuries. The family originally belongs to Rajasthan.