Arumanoor: Zacharia is only 9, but nothing short of a hero for the locals here in on the outskirts of Kottayam town. The Class 3 student of SFS School, Ettumanoor, rescued his three-year-old brother Samuel who was drowning in the Meenachil River on Saturday. Zacharia swam against the flow of the river to rescue his little brother.
Samuel often bathes in the Meenachilar, next to his house, along with the locals. On Saturday too, he sneaked out evading his grandparents and reached the river alone.
The family realised Samuel was missing when Zacharia and another sibling Cyriac (5) came back from school and looked for him. Zacharia ran towards the river and saw Samuel sinking to the bottom of the river. Some daily labourers were hollering from across the bank.
Zacharia jumped into the river without any hesitation, dragged his brother by one hand and swam to safety. Locals who had gathered by then took a visibly exhausted Samuel to the hospital. After first aid at a private hospital in Thellakom, he was taken to the Medical College Hospital nearby.
Zacharia learnt swimming when he was just two-and-a-half-years old. The relief and pride on saving his brother was evident on his face.
Samuel too has started learning to swim, said the elder brother. Reportedly, Samuel had entered a deeper side of the river than usual causing the near-fatal accident.