22 children to get bravery awards



New Delhi: The 15-year-old Ramdinthara from Mizoram, who sacrificed his life while trying to save his friend from drowning, is the only child to get the National Bravery Award posthumously this year.

Twenty-one others, including four girls, will receive their awards from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh ahead of 63rd Republic Day.

The youngest among them is seven-year-old Koroungamba Kuman from Manipur, who showed outstanding bravery and saved his younger sister from devastating fire which broke out in his house.

The names of 22 bravehearts were announced by Indian Council for Child Welfare (ICCW) here today.

The award is given every year to children who show exemplary courage in difficult situations.

This year, 17-year-old Tarang Atulbhai Mistry from Gujarat has been chosen for the coveted 'Bharat Award' for saving the lives of four people who were drowning in the 20-25 feet deep waters of Narmada river after being swept away in the current while taking bath on the occasion of Dhuelti.

The prestigious 'Geeta Chopra' award has been conferred on a 17-year-old girl who was instrumental in exposing the physical and sexual abuse of the inmates of a children's home in Delhi by the owner and staff.

Unable to take on more abuse, she managed to escape and approached an NGO, who presented her before the Child Welfare Committee. Her plight forced the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights to send a team which learnt of the physical, psychological and sexual abuse of children, selling of babies, forced labour and other inhumane acts inflicted upon the hapless destitute children.

11-year-old Gajendra Ram from Chhattisgarh is being felicitated with 'Sanjay Chopra' award, for saving a child from drowning in a 22-feet deep well. Vijay Kumar Saini (17) of Uttar Pradesh, Akanksha Gaute (16.5) of Chhattisgarh and Hali Raghunath Baraf (16.5) of Maharashtra have been given the 'Bapu Gaidhani' Award.

Saini saved three persons from drowning in the Ganges. Gaute, a black belt holder in Karate with nine years of martial arts training, valiantly fought three of the four miscreants who attacked her and her father when they were returning home, while Baraf saved her sister from the jaws of a tiger by attacking it with an iron rod when they had gone in jungle to collect firewood.

Sapna Kumari Meena (14) from Rajasthan is being felicitated for protesting against her father, who was forcing her to get married like her minor sisters. She wrote to District Magistrate and appealed him to stop her wedding. Taking prompt action, the District Magistrate directed the Sub Divisional Magistrate to stop her family members and prevent her marriage.

The other awardees include Devansh Tiwari and Mukesh Nishad (Chhattisgarh), Lalrinhlua (Mizoram), E Suganthan (Tamil Nadu), Ramith K, Mebin Cyriac and Vishnu M V (Kerala), Koroungamba Kuman (Manipur), Samip Anil Pandit (Maharashtra), Vishwendra Lohkna, Satendra Lohkna and Pawan Kumar Kanaujiya (Uttar Pradesh), Stripleaseman Mylliem (Meghalaya) and Suhai KM (Karnataka).

Kasturi Mohapatra, the secretary general of ICCW while introducing the children to media, said they were selected by a high powered committee comprising representatives of various Ministries and Departments, non-governmental organisations as well as members of ICCW.

PTI