A 21-year-old Rupali Rajkumar Meshram along with her mother liven in an isolated area of Usgaon village. On the night of March 24, after hearing the cry of their eldest goat, the girl ran out only to see that the goat has been injured on the neck and the blood was flowing. After looking here and there, she observed a shadow of an animal, when looking clearly towards it, she noticed that it was a leopard and he was looking right on her.
Rupali said that for obvious reasons she felt that he could attack her, “I picked up a stick but the leopard jumped on me and struck a heavy blow on my head. Blood started running down my hair and cheeks. I used all my strength and pushed the leopard away with both my hands.”
Explaining the fight, she said: “It went on for full 15 minutes with me dealing blows on the animal and the leopard attacking and injuring me.”
She said that though she didn’t want to raise an alarm and wake her mother up because she didn’t want the animal to hurt her but after she cried, her mother came out with a stick and attacked the leopard. They managed to get in the house and the leopard then vanished in the darkness.
The Braveheart is a commerce graduate and is studying MS Office. Living without a father, both the women are supported by her brother who is 24 and left studies to work as a scaffolding laborer so that she could get a decent education.
It is said that after it was claimed that the forest’s official didn’t reach the spot on time, the officials deposited a cheque of Rs 10,000 in her account after she was discharged on Tuesday.
The girl says, “A local officer had told us last week that we would get the aid after the treatment was over. I had asked him then what is the use of a help after the treatment? The forest department should give me a job. I am ready to work as a forest guard.” Rupali’s mother, who was also injured, was discharged the same day.
Forest Bhandara’s Deputy Conservator Vivek Hoshing clarified that the local staff members rushed to help the mother-daughter duo and had admitted them to the government sub-district hospital in Sakoli. On March 25, they were shifted to the district hospital in Bhandara. “On March 30, both were shifted to GMCH, Nagpur, where our staff was constantly enquiring about their health,” he said. She is staying with a Christian social organisation, Bharat Sevak Sangati, and she hopes that her act of bravery will probably get her a job and we hope the same.