Cousins Ganesh and Shiv Bansraj were speechless as they each received their Hummingbird Medal Bronze from President Anthony Carmona at the national awards ceremony at the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts (SAPA) in San Fernando on Saturday night.
“I never thought something like this would happen. I am still in shock. It is something I never thought would happen. But I am proud,” Ganesh Banraj told reporters.
Banraj said when he jumped into the Guayamare River to save pharmacist Rolly Bhawansingh three Fridays ago, he never thought about being rewarded.
“All I was thinking about was saving that man’s life. But I am so proud,” he said.
His cousin, Shiv Bansraj, said, “I feel great. I feel happy. That man would have died. I am happy that we were able to save him,” he said.
The cousins dived into the caiman-infested water after Bhawansingh’s car struck a steel barrier and plunged into the river.
Another hero, John Julien, was rewarded with the Hummingbird Medal Bronze. John was awarded for his bravery in rescuing a two-day-old baby girl, found inside a plastic bag at the side of the road, her mouth stuffed with cotton and taped, and her eyes taped shut at Upper Sixth Avenue, Malick, Barataria.
The child, who was named Destiny, was discovered by 53-year-old Julien, who was riding his bike when he heard a noise and decided to investigate.
At first he said it sounded like a kitten but still decided to investigate.
Julien, after receiving the award, said, “I feel like a hero knowing the baby is alive and well. I feel great. I didn’t expect anything. What I did was for God. I still hear the noise now and again,” he said.
Julien asked for a programme to teach young men and women about the responsibilities of being a parent. “We need a programme to culture young girls who just making children and no father. The young men drinking and liming. We have nothing in the community. I need work for them, nothing happening up there,” he said.