Aakanksha N Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, September 2
Smartphone is Kusum’s most prized possession and she ensures it remains within her reach, checking it every few seconds for new messages — “probably teachers sending online work or classmates enquiring about classes”.
It’s the same phone for which the 15-year-old put up a spirited fight against two bike-borne assailants who tried to snatch it on a Jalandhar street two days ago.
Showing exemplary courage, Kusum caught hold of one of them despite being attacked with a sharp-edged weapon on the arm. As she struggled with the biker for a few minutes, passersby joined in and thrashed the snatcher.
“The smartphone didn’t come easy. My father toiled hard to purchase it after schools were shut and classes went online due to the pandemic. It’s priceless,” says Kusum, daughter of a daily-wager, when asked why she risked her life for the phone.
“Had my phone gone, how would have I studied? All my notes and chapters sent by teachers are stored in it. Couldn’t have imagined studies without it. Can’t afford another phone either,” she says sitting on her hospital bed. An aspiring police officer, Kusum has learnt Taekwondo for a few months — and the lessons came in handy.
Giving a word of advice to girls stuck in a similar situation, she says: “Never let fear conquer your mind and don’t let your enemy know about it. Just fight off everything and you will eventually win.”
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