National Bravery awards
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National Bravery awards
National Bravery Award for Indian Children is given each year by
Government of India and Indian Council for Child Welfare (ICCW), to Indian
children for meritorious acts of bravery against all odds.
The award is given to around 24 children below the age of 16. One of two coveted
awards in this category are the Sanjay Chopra Award and Geeta Chopra Award
instituted in 1978, in the memory of Chopra children who laid their lives while
confronting their kidnappers, and are given to a boy and a girl respectively for
acts of bravery. The highest award in the category is the Bharat Award,
constituted in 1987, and the Bapu Gayadhani Award was instituted in 1988.
The origin of the award dates back to 2 October 1957, when
India's first Prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, was watching a performance at
Delhi's Ramlila grounds, at the Red Fort, and a fire broke out in a shamiana
(decorated tent) through a short circuit. Subsequently, Harish Chandra, a
14-year old scout, promptly took out his knife, and ripped open the burning
shamiana, saving lives of hundreds of trapped people; this incident inspired Pt.
Nehru initiate the awards, he asked the authorities to constitute an award to
honour brave children from all over the country, and the tradition has continued
hence, and later Harish Chandra became the first recipient of the award.
The award includes a medal, a certificate and cash award, the
Bharat Award winner gets a gold medal, while the rest get a silver medals.
Further they are also given financial assistance to complete their schooling, as
a part of ICCW's sponsorship programme and professional courses such as medical
and engineering, under the Indira Gandhi scholarship scheme
In 2009, the Government of India announced reservation of some seats in Medical
and Engineering Colleges and Polytechnics for the winners of the award
List of Awards
- Bharat Award, since 1987
- Sanjay Chopra Award, since 1978
- Geeta Chopra Award, since 1978
- Bapu Gayadhani Award, since 1988
- National Bravery Award, since 1957
Applications for the awards are received from various sources such as
the central/state government departments, panchayats, zilla parishads,
school authorities as well as state and Union territory councils for
The selection is made by a committee constituted by the ICCW, comprising
representatives from the secretariats of the President and the
vice-president, various ministries, as well as the Central Social
Welfare Board, the police, All India Radio, Doordarshan and leading NGOs
such as the National Bal Bhavan, SOS, Children's Villages of India, R K
Mission and experienced ICCW members.
Some notable brave children
||Name: N Kandha Kumar
Kumar gave up his life to save his schoolmates. He was awarded
the prestigious Bapu Gayadhani Award (posthumously).
Born in a farming family in Karur district in Tamil Nadu, Kumar would
spend most of his time in the fields. "He was always cheerful, he used
to laugh all the time," says his father.
On July 22, 2003, he was returning home from school along with dozen
other children in a van. As the van was crossing an unmanned railway
crossing near Amur, the engine suddenly gave out. Seeing a speeding
train approaching, the driver deserted the van.
But Kumar was undaunted. He managed to get two small children out of the
vehicle. Some others escaped. Kumar again went inside the van to help
the others stuck inside. He never returned. As he was coming out of the
van the second time, the train hit him on the head and he died on the
spot. Three other children and the conductor also died on the spot.
||Name: Hoti Lal
On June 17 last year, Hoti Lal was playing on the banks of Yamuna in
Mathura, Uttar Pradesh. A woman named Mayadevi was there along with her
niece Jyoti, 17, and granddaughter Tanu, 15, bathing. Jyoti ventured
some distance away from the bank and was swept away by the current. As
she screamed for help, Mayadevi and Tanu rushed to save her. But they,
too, lost control and were being swept away.
Hoti Lal, watching all this from a distance, jumped into the river and
brought Tanu back to the shore. Then he went back and rescued Mayadevi.
However, he could not trace Jyoti.
People who had gathered on the shore by then took Tanu and Mayadevi to
hospital. Tanu was saved, but Mayadevi died on way to the hospital.
Later, Jyoti's body was also traced.
The amazing part of the story is that Hoti Lal is mentally and
physically challenged by birth. One of his legs and hands paralysed. But
he is a good swimmer.
National bravery awards for 2008
A 12-year-old boy who played a vital role in identifying the terrorists who
planted bombs in Delhi, a 13-year-old who saved lives by raising an alarm over a
faulty railway track, and a 14-year-old who dodged marriage to a 40-year-old are
among 20 children chosen to receive the National Bravery Awards for 2008.
The names of these brave-hearts, who will be felicitated by the Prime Minister
later this month, were announced by Indian Council for Child Welfare president
Gita Siddharth here on Saturday.
The prestigious Sanjay Chopra and Geeta Chopra awards have gone to young Saumik
Mishra from Uttar Pradesh, who foiled a theft attempt, and Prachi Santosh Sen of
Madhya Pradesh, who saved four children from electrocution. Prachi, however, was
grievously injured and had her fingers amputated.
Kavita Kanwar from Chhattisgarh gets the Bapu Gaidhani award posthumously. Along
with Seema Kanwar, Kavita had saved the lives of three inmates who were caught
in a kitchen fire in the Adivasi Kanya Ashram.
Asu Kanwar of Jodhpur in Rajasthan was also selected for the Bapu Gaidhani
award. Asu put up a stiff fight against being married off to a 40-year-old
farmer in exchange for money.
The girl opposed the match for two years and was finally saved by the
intervention of a self-help group that in turn approached the District Women
Development Agency to get the wedding called off.
Balloon seller Rahul, who hit the headlines after he identified the men who
planted bombs on Barakhamba Road in the national Capital on September 13 last
year, was awarded for his exemplary courage. Rahul, a prime eyewitness to the
blasts, provided vital information about the suspects to the police. His
statement helped the police make sketches of the suspects.
M. Marudu Pandi of Dindigul in Tamil Nadu was chosen for the honour for showing
presence of mind and alerting railway officials about a fracture in the rail
track and averting an accident.
Six-year-old twins from Bangalore, Gagan and Bhoomika J. Murthy, were rewarded
for saving the life of a baby caught in a bull fight. The children, unmindful of
the threat to their own lives, rescued the baby even as the crowds watched the
Silver Kharbani of Meghalaya, who saved the life of her young cousin trapped in
a fire, will also be one of the 20 who will get pride of place in the Republic
Day Parade here on January 26 atop an elephant.
Yumkhaibam Addison Singh from Manipur was chosen for rescuing an eight-year-old
from drowning in a pond, while Vishal Suryaji Patil from Maharashtra was awarded
for rescuing a woman and her child from drowning. Shahanshah of Uttar Pradesh,
Dinu K.G. of Kerala, Anita Kaura and Reena Kaura of West Bengal, Majjusha A of
Kerala and Hina Quereshi of Rajasthan were also selected for saving people from
Manish Bansal of Jind in Haryana, who along with his older brother helped nab
armed miscreants who had broken into their home, and Kritika Jhanwar of
Rajasthan who also fought off robbers are among the 20 who will be hosted by
President Pratibha Patil at a reception in Rashtrapati Bhavan. As part of the
awards, financial assistance under the Indira Gandhi Scholarship Scheme is
provided to those undertaking professional courses. For others, this assistance
is provided till they complete their graduation. The Centre has reserved some
seats for awardees in medical and engineering colleges and polytechnics.
( Courtesy: The Hindu )