Every republic day shines with bright and sparkling achievements. Among these victories is one category which is outstanding in its own context – the National Bravery awards. Bravery awards are known for recognizing those children whose exceptional deeds of bravery distinguish them from others, and inspire people with their courage and boldness.
This year 25 children have been honored with the bravery award by Prime Minister Narendra Modi – Shivampet Ruchitha (Telangana), Arjun Singh (Uttarakhand), Aromal S.M (Kerala), Ramdinthara (Mizoram), Rakeshbhai Shanabhai Patel (Gujarat), Nilesh Revaram Bhil (Maharashtra), Joena Chakraborty (Chhattisgarh), Bhimsen (Uttar Pradesh), Kashish Dhanani (Gujarat), Vaibhav Rameshwar Ghangare (Maharashtra), Dishant Mehndiratta (Haryana), Chongtham Kuber Meitei (Manipur), Angelica Tynsong (Meghalaya), Mohit Mahendra Dalvi (Maharashtra), Nithin Philip Mathew (Kerala), Sarwanand Saha (Chhattisgarh), Beedhovan (Kerala), Anandu Dileep (Kerala), Maurice Yengkhom (Manipur), Abhijith K.V (Kerala), Sai Krishna Akhil Kilambi (Telangana), Muhammad Shamnad (Kerala), Abinash Mishra (Odisha). Two children Gaurav Kawduji Sahastrabuddhe (Maharashtra) and Shivyansh Singh (Uttar Pradesh) were presented the award posthumously.
Shivampet Ruchitha, being the youngest amongst all the award recipients, is just 10 years old. On the morning of 24 July 2014, while on her way to school Ruchitha displayed exceptional bravery when her bus collided with a train and she saved the lives of two children travelling along with her. Unfortunately, her 5 year old sister Shruti, who was also there on the bus, could not be saved. According to her mother Lata, Ruchitha is a friendly, active and extremely confident girl. She has a jolly nature and her friends are her family. Her father is very proud of her and wants to provide her the best he can. For her parents, the award, she received, is equal to the daughter they lost.
In conversation with late little Shivyansh’s mother, Neelam Singh, Shivyansh was the peppier one as compared to his younger brother Priyansh. She talks about his favorite hobby, swimming, which he did not leave till his last breath. He was a gold medalist in swimming too. During summer vacations on 16 June 2015, he went for his routine swimming classes, but that day it was closed due to cleanup. He along with his other friends went to Sarju River to swim. In a mishap, his friend Vivek, who did not know how to swim, began drowning. As per Neelam, there were many people, who could have helped them, but none of them made a move. Shivyansh tried to save his friend from drowning but as they held on to each other both of them lost control, and drowned. As she received the award on Shivyansh’s behalf, she felt very proud of her son for being so courageous.
Maurice from Manipur is one of the most joyous kids who was here as well leading and helping all the award recipients he has made friends with. He told us his story how he saved his cousin’s life from electric shock. While, Maurice, along with his 13 year old Rodin and other 5 cousins were playing at the terrace, he noticed Rodin’s outstretched hand towards him. He was thrown back when he touched him. He saw a broken cane chair and ingeniously used it hitting Rodin’s legs, back and shoulder. He was successful in his vigorous attempts and saved his cousin’s life, who got treated for several burns. Maurice wants to become an aeronautical engineer in future.
Joena, caught a mobile snatcher from Paharganj area of Delhi, when she was here on a trip with her family. She is originally from Chhattisgarh. She shared her whole experience as to how on the evening of 27 November 2014 a miscreant snatched her father’s mobile and started running. She chased him spontaneously, stopping all the vehicles on road, went successful in catching hold of that snatcher’s legs and shouted for help. Her father along with other people caught him, but the thief again ran by just throwing the cover. The fearless Joena, again shouted at him and ultimately, made the thief return the mobile.
Another valiant boy, Arjun Singh, saved his mother from a tiger attack. He fought with the wild animal and showed tremendous courage. This boy from Uttarakhand, shared his experience of how he saved his mother whom he loves more than anything else in the world.
The risk taker Ramdinthara from Mizoram saved lives of two persons who were struggling to escape from the strong electric current due to accidental falling of the electric transformer. He risked his own life and showed dauntless valour and sense of duty in rescuing two strangers.
Selfless Bhimsen, saved lives of around 11 people, who were stranded in the middle of the river. Many died in that incident, but 11 were saved because of Bhimsen’s bravery.
In August 2014, Sarwanand Saha, too young to play a rescuer during the flood-like situation at Mahanadi river, told us how he saved the drowning man who was flowing with the current of uncontrollable water.
The other enthusiastic and zealous boy, Akhil, shared, the whole tragic incident when Smt. Prasuna and her maid were washing the floor. He told us, that the inverter, Prasuna unknowingly tried to unplug with her wet hands, was not working earlier, but caught them both in the grip of electric current. He rushed upstairs to save her mother from the electric shock, who almost lost her consciousness. He used his brains at that tricky point of life and used a plastic mop to detach the electric wire and shifted the wire over wooden dining table, as the floor was wet.
Young bloods like these, showed immense courage and promptness in saving lives of people, selflessly. Where, we listen a lot about intolerance, children who have won the National bravery award, are proving the necessity of being human first, bold and iconic in everyday life.
On Republic Day, these children are a gift to the nation, being the most unbiased and honest.
Tehelka salutes the brave little stars of India!