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HindustanTimes Thu,21 Aug 2014

5 children to get National Bravery Awards posthumously

PTI  New Delhi, January 18, 2012
First Published: 21:14 IST(18/1/2012) | Last Updated: 21:15 IST(18/1/2012)

15-year-old Kapil, who made the supreme sacrifice while saving his schoolmates from flood fury in Uttarakhand, is among the five children to get the National Bravery Awards posthumously in 2012.

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Nineteen other children, including 8 eight girls, will receive the awards from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh ahead of the Republic Day.

The names of the 24 bravehearts were announced by the Indian Council for Child Welfare on Wednesday.

At the press conference, where the names were announced, choked with emotion, Kapil's father Birendra Singh Negi said, "At this moment, I am filled with pride. I have never felt like this before."

Kapil had on September 8...., lost his life while trying to save the life of schoolmates after his school in Rudraprayag District of Uttarakhand was flooded after heavy rains.

Initially, Kapil was helped by classmate Subodh, but due to a landslide stones began to roll from above and Subodh also had to step aside. However, Kapil continued his rescue act as he carried school kids on his back to safety, before becoming a casualty himself.

"There are lots of children in the rural areas of our country who display immense courage in their daily lives, the media should reach out more to them," Negi said as his wife Anita stood by.

Besides Kapil, Saudhita Barman, Lovely Verma, Aditya Gopal and C Lalduhawma will get the award posthumously.

The prestigious Geeta Chopra award was given to Mittal Patadiya from Ahmedabad, who at Twelve years old had enough courage to fight off robbers who had attacked her foster mother. It took four hours of surgery and 251 stitches to close the wounds Mittal had received.

"They had attacked my mother so I decided not to let him go. He was caught but another one escaped," Mittal said. "She is my Jhansi ki Rani," her foster mother Kavita Ben kept repeating.

Mittal, who wants to become a doctor, said she was not scared of anything but her teacher's scolding.

Om Prakash Yadav, who also won the Bravery prize has burn marks all over his face. He was just 11 years and 5 months old when he helped his schoolmates get out of their van which had caught fire, as the adult driver fled to safety.

"I could feel fire burn my body but then I could hear the cries of my friends who were still caught inside the van. I threw my bag and entered to pull them out," he said.

The story of Anjali Singh Gautam, who ran amid firing by Naxals to save her brother is no less inspiring.

On her birthday, July 7, nearly 200 Naxals attacked Anjali's village and a dozen of them broke into her house and fired indiscriminately. Anjali's younger brother was also hit by bullets.

Seeing her injured brother, the fourteen year lifted him on her shoulder and ran as bullets were being fired all round till she could reach the safety of a relative's house.

"My brother is only a couple of years younger to me. He was heavy, but I could only think of running so that he reaches safety," Anjali said.

As the names were announced, some in the audience also sat sobbing, for they were parents who had lost brave children.

Saraswati, whose eleven-and-a-half-year-old daughter Saudhita Barman lost her life as she saved three girls from drowning, could not hold back her tears.

"The award matters, but what would help more is if my other two children could get jobs," Sarawati said.

Anara Devi, the mother of 12 year old Lovely Verma, who died while saving two of her friends from drowning in a pond also could not suppress her tears.

"She was my only daughter. I have two sons but since she was my first child, my love for her was very special," Devi said.

Delhi Boy Uma Shankar, who helped save lives of seveal people injured in an accident, said, "More people should step forward to help fellow beings".

At 7 years and 3 months, Dungar Singh of village Pratapgarh in Jaisalmer District was the youngest winner. He had saved his brother escape from a fire that had engulfed their hut.

Other Children who got the award are Adithya Gopal from Arunachal, Uma Shankar of Delhi, Yandam Amara Uday Kiran from Andhra Pradesh, G Parameswaran from Tamil Nadu, Mohammed Nidhad, Sahsad K and Anshif CK from Kerala, Ranjan Pradhan and Sheetal Saluja from Chhatisgarh.

C Lalduhawma from Mizoram, Sindhushree BA and Sandesh Hegde from Karnataka, Prasannata Shandilya from Odisha, Johnson and K Rakesh Singh from Manipur, Divyaben Chauhan from Gujarat.


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