“It’s awesome. This teacher saved two lives with no thought for his own. Such selfless acts must be rewarded,” the Rangte village council and the Young Mizo Association (YMA) said in a letter to the deputy commissioner.
“It was the bravest thing. This man risked his life to save the children,” the village council president, H.C. Rodingliana, said over phone.
Rodingliana said on July 13, Lalhunmawia, 8, fell into a pond while playing with his friends. As he was struggling and cried out for help, Rohluzuala, 10, dived into the water to save him, though he did not know how to swim.
Their cries for help alerted Zirthanenga, who was cleaning his vehicle at one end of the pond. Running to the spot he saw two children struggling and he jumped into the water to rescue them.
He managed to get a hold of one of the boys and pulled him to safety but by then Roh-luzuala had disappeared under water. He went back for Rohluzuala and managed to drag him out by his feet.
“It’s a miracle. Albert does not know how to swim, but he told me he crawled on the bed of the pond and found Rohluzuala. He was under water for several minutes,” the village council president said.
He and another 12-year-old boy, Laltluangliana, pumped out the water from Rohluzuala’s stomach and then rushed him to Lunglei hospital. Zirthanenga said, “I had to do what I could because nobody else was there except the children,” he said.