The biggest nightmare a student can face is being late for an exam.
Worse if it is a national exam, like the PSLE.
That was exactly what happened to one 12-year-old girl on Oct 2 when she realised that she could not make it to school in time for her Mathematics paper.
Thankfully, a kind stranger came to her rescue.
At about 7am on Friday, 12-year-old Jacinta Oriole Putri approached a couple to ask if they could help call her parents as she didn’t have a phone. The woman, Shradha Iyer, saw her distress and asked her what was wrong.
Shradha tells The Pride: “We were going for a morning walk when a little girl approached us to ask if we could call her parents. When I asked her if she was feeling unwell she said no she is running late for her exam and the bus had not arrived. We tried to call her parents but they didn’t pick up, so we asked which school she goes to and what bus she was taking.”
Despite only meeting Jacinta for the first time, Shradha, 45, who works as a regional product manager at fragrance company Givaudan Singapore, spared no effort in helping the girl reach school on time for her exam.
“It was already 7am and she told us that her exam was at 7.30am and the bus ride would take 45 minutes. So we knew that she would not make it in time for the exam. That’s why we decided to book a ride for her.” explains Shradha.
She even went the extra mile to call the Grab driver after the journey to ensure that Jacinta reached her school safely. Afterwards, Shradha’s husband Shreedhar messaged Jacinta’s father to tell him what happened.
Thanks to this kind gesture, Jacinta was able to make it to school on time for her PSLE exam.
A Father’s gratitude
Jacinta’s father, Deni Suryadi, 41, who works as an engineer, was so moved by Shradha and Shreedhar’s kind act that he posted a tribute video on his Instagram page thanking them.
It was a series of unfortunate events that caused his daughter to be late on Friday, he tells The Pride.
Deni, who has three other children, explains: “My daughter actually planned to go to school with her friends. Unfortunately, they were unable to turn up at the bus stop due to a miscommunication. So my daughter waited for a long time at the bus stop without realising that she was already late.”
It was only after she realised what time it was that Jacinta approached Shradha and Shreedhar to ask for help in calling her father.
And the couple’s kindness didn’t stop there, says Deni. When he tried to pay for the ride, Shreedhar politely declined and told him that they were just glad that Jacinta could make it to school on time.
Putting herself in others’ shoes
For Shradha, her act of kindness came naturally because she could understand what Jacinta was going through mentally.
Shradha says: “I am a mother who is always stressed about her children going for their exams as they go to school in Bedok and we live in Bukit Batok. So I could relate to how (Jacinta) was feeling especially because it was the PSLE and she was very stressed. I wouldn’t want my child in her shoes so I wanted to do my best to help.”
Deni is immensely grateful for the extraordinary gesture the couple extended to his daughter.
He says: “Hopefully this kindness will be an example to everyone to help people in need regardless of race, religion and nationality.”
Shradha also hopes that people in society would be more understanding to others.
She says: “This is what we all need to do in this world, to be kind to one another… and have empathy without any expectations. It’s something normal that everyone should think of doing.”