I read this story on the web the other day. This is my effort to pay homage to individuals such as these by linking to such stories. Here is the link. But I
reproduce it for fear of link rot.
Varanasi woman defined motherhood by son’s sacrifice to save four kids
By Girish Kumar Dubey, Varanasi, May 11 : Of all the joys that can happen in a woman’s life, gaining motherhood may top everything else. But Manjuma of Varanasi is that large hearted lady who opted to sacrifice her only child to save four kids from drowning with him in the same river.
It’s been four years when nine-year-old Shahid and his friends were playing around River Varuna in Varanasi. They were on a hand pulled rickshaw. The water pulled it with its current.
When Shahid's mother Manjuma got the news about the incident by a neighbour, she rushed to the spot and jumped into the river. She managed to save four kids out of the river but failed to trace her own son despite all attempts.
"It was the afternoon of May 27, 2004 when these children were playing in a rickshaw which toppled into the river. They were drowning, the moment I learnt about them I jumped into the river and tried to bring out the children one by one. I saved the ones I found closer to me in water but I failed to save my own child. Thinking of my child , I kept saving others,” said Manjuma, the saviour mother.
“I felt sad that I could not save him but I was satisfied having saved the other four belonging to other parents. The God wanted me to save them and when I see them I feel they are my own children," Manjuma added.
But at times Manjuma looks out for her son whom she could not save during her brave act of saving the other four children from the river.
Iqbal, Manjuma's husband, tells that she shudders every time she recalls that unforgettable incident. She would often sit on the river bank with a mother’s hope that some day her son would turn up again.
" He was our only child. Since he is no more in our world, my wife stands everyday on the bank of the river in his wait and at times brings the four children to our house," said Iqbal Shahid's father.
Manjuma Iqbal has been conferred upon the President’s Uttam Jeevan Raksha medal 2008 (President medal for saving life). Surely, such a large-hearted brave woman deserves to be saluted by the nation on Mother's Day.