Twelve-year-old Rahul will get the prestigious National Bravery Award Jan 26 for his courage in providing vital information and in helping identify suspected terrorists who planted a bomb Sep 13 in a dustbin in the heart of New Delhi.
Amid media frenzy, at the Indian Council for Child Welfare where the 20 children selected for the awards had gathered ahead of the main event Jan 26, Rahul flashed toothy grins to the media and yielded to requests to pose for photographs.
"I am very happy," said Rahul, who now is under the care of NGO Salaam Balak Trust.
About his chivalrous act, a confident Rahul said: "I was scared when I saw the two men as they wrapped the bomb in a black polythene and threw it into the dustbin - I am happy that I was able to help the police and help draw sketches of the two men - after that I was not scared...I did what appealed to me at the time."
On Sep 13, 2008, five serial blast ripped through the capital killing 26 people and injuring several others. In Connaught Place two bombs went off, one of which exploded metres away from where Rahul used to sell baloons.
As the prime eyewitness, the boy provided clues about the suspected terrorists. He helped police draw sketches of the two "bearded men dressed in black". He even stated in front of the media and police that he could recognise the men if he saw them again.
"Even now I remember their faces," he said.
Rahul no longer sells balloons. Instead, he "studies and paints".
"The last painting I made was of Ganeshji (a Hindu god) - the painting shows his mouse stealing a laddu and running," he smiled.