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Boy reaps reward for selfless flood prevention drive

By Phuoc Tuan   June 21, 2020 | 11:23 pm PT
A 12-year-old schoolboy in southern Dong Nai Province got VND4 million ($172) for removing trash from sewers in the rain to prevent flooding.

Pham Trong Dat, a 6th grader at Long An Secondary School, was awarded cash and a certificate of appreciation by Long Thanh District People’s Committee on Monday for his selfless community act.

Pham Trong Dat (C) receives a certificate and a bouquet from an official of Long Thanh District Peoples Committee of Dong Nai Province, June 22, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Phuoc Tuan.

Pham Trong Dat (C) receives a certificate and a bouquet from an official of Long Thanh District People's Committee of Dong Nai Province at his school, June 22, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Phuoc Tuan.

Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh, deputy chairwoman of Long Thanh People’s Committee, said: "His act helped protect the environment and increase awareness among locals regarding garbage management. While he’s still young, Dat’s thinking is to be appreciated and set as an example for all students."

At the award ceremony, Dat was reticent and shy. He said unclogging the sewers was no major act, and that he would continue doing good deeds.

Camera footage provided by a local family showed Dat removing trash from the mouth of a drainage line on D2 Street in Long An Commune, Long Thanh District last Tuesday. On his way home in the rain, Dat stopped at several sewer mouths, sat down and started removing trash with his bare hands.

Pham Trong Dat, 12, removes trash from the mouth of a sewer line in Long An Commune, Long Thanh District, Dong Nai Province.

Ta Huong, 34, who provided the footage after checking her home security camera, said: "What that boy did moved us. I’ve never witnessed such a beautiful act before."

Huong’s Facebook post of the video quickly went viral, with netizens heaping praise on the boy.

Pham Thi Ngoc Mai, principal of Long An Secondary School, said: "Dat did a good deed in silence. It shows that besides knowledge gained at school, life skills are also important."

Pham Trong Dat, in his school uniform and with the bicycle he rides to school, stands in his front yard in Long An Commune in Dong Nai Province’s Long Thanh District. Photo by Huynh Cong Lap.

Pham Trong Dat, in his school uniform and with the bicycle he rides to school, stands in his front yard in Long An Commune in Dong Nai Province’s Long Thanh District. Photo by Huynh Cong Lap.

After their parents divorced years ago, Dat and his 15-year-old sister have been living with their maternal grandparents.

His grandfather, who recently suffered a stroke, can no longer work while his grandmother is employed as a housekeeper.

Dat’s mother works far away and has not visited her children for seven years.

 
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