KUANTAN: A teenager with a disability, Nuraina Erieka Abdullah (pix), today received the ‘Tokoh Srikandi Kanak-Kanak Negeri Pahang’ award this year, for her selfless act of bravery to rescue her younger brother from their burning house, last month.
Her mother, Nur Zalina Mohd Fauzi, 38, was elated as she had never thought that her 13-year-old daughter would receive a recognition because her eldest of eight children was born with a learning disability which went undetected until she was in Standard Four.
“Despite being born that way, Erieka (home name) is very close to her siblings and she is capable of taking care of them if I am busy with housework.
“I have asked her several times whether she was frightened of the blaze (when she went into the burning house), and each time, Erieka answered her younger brother, aged one year and seven months, would have died if she had not done so,” Nur Zalina said here, today.
Earlier, Nuraina Erieka received the award from Pahang Culture, Unity, Social Welfare, Women and Family Development Committee chairman Datuk Seri Shahaniza Shamsuddin at the state-level Children’s Day Celebration at the Sultanah Hajjah Kalsom Children’s Home here today.
As the recipient, Nuraina Erieka, a special-needs student at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Semambu here, took home a trophy and RM2,000 cash prize, which would be used for educational purposes.
The teenager was also awarded the Hang Tuah Medal today by Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun in conjunction with the 2020 national-level Children’s Day Celebration, which was held virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
On the fire incident which took place at 9.30 pm on Sept 23, Nur Zalina said she was taking care of her sick mother-in-law with her husband at her husband’s family home, some 500 metres from their rental unit on the third floor at Taman Anggerik Desa flat in Jalan Beserah, Kuantan.
“Erieka contacted and told me that the kitchen was on fire. I asked her to pour water, but she told me the fire was getting bigger. I immediately instructed her to take her siblings down before we rushed home and the neighbours said that Erieka ran upstairs despite being stopped.
After everything was settled, Erieka told me that she remembered that she did not take her little brother, Wan Ahmad Firash, who was sleeping in the room, out of the house. Despite being born with disabilities, Erieka was very brave and loved her brother very much,” she said.
Nur Zalina, who sells corn, said the fire only destroyed the kitchen and her daughter’s courageous act gained wide attention from many parties. -Bernama