MP sportsman who died saving 2 children gets top civilian gallantry medal

Updated on Jan 24, 2018 11:48 PM IST

The central government has decorated Bablu Martin with the ‘Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Padak’.

People selling Indian flag ahead of Republic Day a red light in New Delhi India, on January 24.(Sonu Mehta /HT Photo)
People selling Indian flag ahead of Republic Day a red light in New Delhi India, on January 24.(Sonu Mehta /HT Photo)
Press Trust of India, New Delhi | ByPress Trust of India

Bablu Martin, a sports person who died rescuing two children from a collapsing flood-hit building in Madhya Pradesh’s Satna district, was on Wednesday awarded the highest civilian gallantry medal ahead of Republic Day.

The central government has decorated Martin with the ‘Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Padak’ (posthumously).

The incident in which he lost his life took place in August, 2016, in the famous temple town of Maihar when heavy monsoon rains were lashing the region.

Martin, 40, who used to provide free coaching to young students in sports such as football and cricket, saw two children standing under a crumbling building, unaware that it was coming down due to the floods in the area.

The sportsman pounced and saved the two children, one of whom was a daughter of a watchman who lived in the vicinity.

Martin threw the children to a safe distance, but could not save himself and got trapped under the falling structure.

A photograph of his wide-eyed last moments under the rubble had been published in vernacular and state papers the next day. Locals had given him a hero’s farewell, days after he succumbed to his injuries in a hospital.

Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had also visited Martin’s home the very next day and had announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to his family.

The ‘Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Padak’ is part of awards given to people for a meritorious act of humane nature in saving the life of a person. The highest among the awards is the ‘Sarvottam’ medal followed by ‘Uttam” and ‘Jeevan Raksha Padak’.

Six other people have been given the top category medal along with Martin.

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