|Peng Weiping [wenming.cn]|
Peng Weiping has been named as national moral model for saving a baby girl from drowning in Zhangchang Village, Gaolou Town, Lingbi County in east China's Anhui Province when she was six months pregnant in July 2012.
Candidates have been selected for the title of "national moral model" every two years since 2007. The selection aims to give full credit to the leading role of exemplary individuals, boost traditional virtues and socialist core values and mobilize the public to participate in similar good practice and better serve social development.
The national moral models for this year were announced in mid-October. A total of 62 people, including Peng, were granted the honor.
When Peng was resting at home and heard her daughter crying for help in 2012, she hurried out of her house and found the 2-year-old daughter of her neighbor was struggling in a nearby pond.
She jumped into the pond and tried to swim back to the bank after catching the baby girl. Though she attempted several times, she failed to climb out.
At the critical moment, villager Chen Demin came to help after hearing the noise. It took Chen a couple of minutes to pull Peng and the baby girl onto the ground.
As Chen trembled and cried due to pain in her back and stomach, villagers sent her to hospital for a checkup. There she learned she was bearing twins.
Peng admitted that she is so timid and afraid of water that she feels dizzy even when getting close to the pond. But when asked how she was so brave to save the girl, she said, "When I jumped into the water, I forgot I was pregnant. What was on my mind was to save that child."
Unfortunately, Peng found that the frequency of the twin fetuses' movement decreased and it turned out that one of the pair was dead. The next day, she underwent C-section surgery and gave birth to one who was still alive. However, the premature infant suffered from brain defects and, as of writing, has been receiving treatment.
Peng has never regretted saving the baby girl by losing one of her own. She pulled herself together and shouldered the responsibility to take care of her baby.
When her story was reported by media, donations poured in. She used the funds to buy stationery for all children in her village and help those whose parents have left home to seek better paying jobs in cities.
Now, she and other women jointly have established a farming cooperative to help 30 households increase their incomes by raising sheep.
Over the years, Peng has won a number of regional and national honors, including Anhui's "May 4th Medal", a "March 8th Red Banner Pacesetter" title, and a mention in China's Good People List.
Currently, she is deputy to the 12th National People Congress, China's top legislature.
The Fifth Selection of National Moral Models was co-sponsored by the Central Publicity Department, the Central Civilization Office, the General Political Department of the National Liberation Army, the National Trade Union, the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League and the All-China Women's Federation.
(Source: wenming.cn/Translated and edited by Women of China)