Opinion / From the Press

Heroic deeds demand better reward

(China Daily) Updated: 2014-07-30 08:56

A villager in Laiyuan county of Hebei province stopped a moving train from running into a section that had been blocked by mudslide. For his selfless bravery, which saved many lives, he was awarded 10,000 yuan ($1,616.14) by the railway authorities, not enough to even cover the loss of his flock of sheep in the torrential rain and the resultant mudslides that have wreaked havoc in some part of the country. Though he was awarded 250,000 yuan later by the authorities, the incident calls for a change in regulations for such acts of valor, says an article in Beijing News. Excerpts:

Lu Wei abandoned his flock of about 20 sheep as he ran along the rail tracks to wave to a fast-moving train to stop, which otherwise would almost certainly have crashed into the mud-rock flow ahead. The loss he suffered in the process was at least 40,000 yuan, far more than the first reward he later got from the railways for his heroic deed.

Lu may receive more compensation after higher authorities recognize the importance of his action. The draft regulation on heroic deeds, waiting for approval of the Hebei provincial legislature, stipulates that the highest reward will be raised from 50,000 yuan to more than 100,000 yuan.

But the reward for heroic action and compensation for the losses that people incur in the process are two different things. Such rewards are a way of encouraging people to help save others from dangers and safeguard national property.

Therefore, the compensation for the losses people incur while trying to protect others or safeguard national property should be calculated separately in the form of bills for medical treatment and property damage. In Lu's case, the compensation for the loss of his sheep should be independently settled. Only when laws are designed to sufficiently compensate for the losses people incur while saving others will more people be encouraged to take altruistic actions.

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