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Acknowledging courage

You can’t be brave if your mettle has not been put to test. Coming across 13 such brave examples from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir, who were being awarded at the 21st Godfrey Phillips Bravery Awards, is nothing short of motivational. HT City brings to you their stories…

chandigarh Updated: Jan 25, 2013 10:32 IST
Navleen Lakhi

You can’t be brave if your mettle has not been put to test. Coming across 13 such brave examples from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir, who were being awarded at the 21st Godfrey Phillips Bravery Awards, is nothing short of motivational. HT City brings to you their stories…

Physical Bravery Award
Gurjeevan Singh, 17,
Mansa
In February 2012, this Class 8 student, while delivering tea to some bank employees, spotted three motorcycle-borne armed men overpowering the bank’s guard in order to rob the bank. Gurjeevan immediately started throwing stones at them, and in retaliation from their side, got hit by stones on his head. His spontaneity and courage made him raise the alarm, thanks to which, villagers assembled at the spot and caught the robbers.

Norbu Panse, 63,
Himachal Pradesh
This farmer has been rescuing stranded passengers from the thick snow of Lahaul Spiti district since the ’80s. Be it distributing medicines, dry ration, clothes at higher altitudes, recovering bodies buried under the snow, promoting family welfare, environment protection or the pulse polio programme—Panse finds happiness in helping those in distress.

Mukesh Agarwal, 50, Karnal
A businessman by profession, Agarwal risked his life in April 2012 to rescue a man from being robbed at National Highway 1. In the process, he was shot at thrice by robbers, but the bullets failed to falter his courage.

Sat Pal, 37, Jammu & Kashmir
In September 2012, this private security guard saved a teenage girl from drowning in a canal. The fact that he did not know how to swim did not seem to hamper his resolution, nor did the strong cold currents.

Rakesh Ranjan, 23, Jalandhar
In July 2012, while traveling with his wife and their eight-month-old child by the Chhattisgarh Express, Ranjan saw a youngster stealing his wife’s bag. He ran after the thief, who then attacked him. He bore injuries on his face and body, but managed to hand over the thief to the police.

Mind of Steel Award
Harman Singh Sidhu, 42, Chandigarh
After being paralysed due to a road accident, Sidhu started an NGO called Arrive Safe, which spreads awareness about road safety and traffic rules, and teaches self-regulation for safety to children and the youth. His NGO has 25 permanent members and various volunteers. He is also a part of global initiative, Road Safety Partnership, the pilot project for which, on drunk driving and over-speeding, is being undertaken in Hyderabad and Jalandhar.

Amit Saroha, 27, Haryana
Despite having lost his legs and damaging his backbone in an accident, Saroha made the country proud by excelling in sports. Some of his achievements include a silver medal in Para Asian Games, China (2012), a gold medal in IWAS World Games, Sharjah (2011), gold medal at Malaysian Olympic (2012), while making a new Asian record at the same and also qualifying for the London Para Olympics.

He also aims at opening a para sports academy of international standard.

Dorje Bodh, 60 and Hishe Chhome, 59, Lahaul Spiti
The couple that has been running a dhaba for the past 40 years has been providing shelter and food to tourists and locals trapped in snowfall. They helped 106 tourists and locals in 1990, when 10 foot of snow closed all means of communication in Lahaul Spiti. Recently, the authorities installed a satellite phone at the dhaba after recognising their efforts.

Social Bravery Award
Nisha Yadav, 24, Gurgaon
A teacher by profession, she saved the minor children who were being exploited sexually by the members of an NGO; got the caretaker of the NGO arrested for raping and molesting many minor girls. She did not quit despite the relentless threats.

Harbans Singh, 75, Bharampur
This folk singer has been creating awareness about female foeticide since 1990. He and his two-wheeler, Moped, carrying anti-foeticide slogans, have traveled 100 villages so far. With the help of prominent citizens, he addresses people and shares his views.

Rajneesh Pathania, 53, Himachal Pradesh
A heart surgeon at IGMC, Shimla, he has dedicated his life to serving humanity and has performed 500 operations, besides providing pre-operative and post-operative treatment to the poor free of cost. He is known for specialised and high-tech treatments.

Mohammad Iqbal Balwal, 48, Jammu & Kashmir
The president of NGO District Doda Welfare Society has been helping the victims of road accidents and landslides by providing them financial help since 1995. The NGO also organises health and blood donation camps, besides providing education to the poor.

Amodini Award
Sanskriti Evam Jan Kaliayan Parishad, Himachal Pradesh
The NGO has formed 22 self-help groups for rural women, promoting self education, health and social security for poor women in need, without any backing from the government.