Kendrapara district administration has decided to recommend National Bravery Award for the 6-year-old girl who displayed exemplary courage to save her friend from a crocodile attack.
“The girl Tiki Dalai’s feat merits consideration for National bravery Award. The administration will write to the Indian Council for Child Welfare for the National Bravery Award recognition to the girl,” Kendrapara collector Muralidhar Mallick said on Thursday.
This award is given to 25 children every year in the age group of 6-18 years for bravery.
Tiki and her friend Basanti Dalai were bathing in Bankuala village on Tuesday afternoon when an estuarine crocodile that had sneaked into the pond attacked Basanti.
Reacting quickly, Tiki picked up a bamboo stick and dealt a blow on animal’s head. The reptile that had caught Basanti in its jaws was jolted by the sudden attack, the girls’ relatives said.
“The show of courage by the little girl deeply moved me after I went through media reports on the incident. I cut short the official schedule and met both the girls. I talked to Tiki, whose heroic act has drawn state-wide appreciation,” Mallick said.
Tiki’s father Abhaya Dalai, a daily wage-earner, said he was proud of what his daughter has done.
“She was name Tiki meaning small. But act of bravery has made her great,” Dalai said.
The state forest department has borne the cost of treatment of the injured girl and a compensation would be given to her family as per rules, said DFO of Rajnagar Mangrove (wildlife) forest division, Bimal Prasanna Acharya.
Meanwhile, the crocodile which had strayed into the village pond was captured by wildlife staff of Bhitarkanika National Park in a relief to the residents of Bankuala village.
The 5.2 feet long juvenile estuarine crocodile has been kept in an enclosure inside the national park and would be released in the wild later, officials said.