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R-Day special: The children who know no fear

Last updated on: January 24, 2012 12:47 IST

The children who know no fear

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They may be just children but their bravery surpasses ages.

 

Twenty four children from different parts of the country received the National Bravery Awards for 2011 from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at a function in New Delhi on January 23. Among the awardees eight were girls and sixteen are boys. Five awards were given posthumously. 

The National Bravery Award Scheme was initiated by the Indian Council for Child Welfare to give due recognition to the children who distinguish themselves by performing outstanding deeds of bravery and meritorious service and to inspire other children to emulate their example.

Let's take a look at some of these brave kids

 

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Image: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with the National Bravery Awards-2011 winners and their escorts, in New Delhi on January 23, 2012. National Advisory Council Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Women and Child Development Krishna Tirath and Gursharan Kaur are also seen
Photographs: PIB Photos

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The children who know no fear

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Om Prakash Yadav, 11
State: Uttar Pradesh
Sanjay Chopra Award for saving children out of a burning van 

Yadav has burn marks all over his face. On September 4, 2010, he was going to school along with other students in a Maruti van. But all of a sudden, the van caught fire because of a short circuit in the gas kit.

The driver immediately opened his door and fled. But not Yadav.

He broke open the van door and pulled out the others, caring little about the flames that had spread to his face, back and arms.

"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 says.

He saved eight children.

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The children who know no fear

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Mittal Patadiya, 12
State: Gujarat
Geeta Chopra award for fighting off assailants
 

On November 3, 2010, Tahiliani (Mittal's foster mother) answered the door after the bell rang. Standing outside was Ajit Singh, a driver she knew, and two other men. 

He asked for water. Patadiya went to fetch it. The men then pushed Tahiliani inside and shut the door. They started beating her, demanding money. Patadiya immediately caught one of the men by his hair. 

The miscreant stabbed her in the neck repeatedly. Blood oozing out of her neck, she held on to the man and managed to open the door.

 

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," Patadiya said.

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

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The children who know no fear

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Anjali Singh Gautam, 15
State: Chhattisgarh
Awarded for: Saving brother from Naxals

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 himon 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.

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The children who know no fear

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Uma Shankar, 12
City: Delhi
Bapu Gaidhani Award for saving children trapped under van

Uma Shankar was on his way to school in a bus. Just ahead was an overcrowded minibus.

Unable to negotiate a curve, the minibus suddenly overturned. 

Trapped under it were mostly schoolchildren like him, bleeding. Shankar jumped out of his bus to rescue the children. 

Asking the passengers who escaped unhurt to lift the bus, the boy crawled underneath and pulled out the kids. Now, they had to be rushed to hospital. Shankar flagged down motorists but nobody would stop. 

So he lunged in front of two moving cars. The cars stopped. Six of the injured were rushed to hospital, five of whom survived.

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Dungar Singh, 7
State: Rajasthan
Awarded for jumping into a fire to save brother

On March 27, 2011, Dungar jumped into flames to save his disabled brother.

A fire had broken out at their hut in Rajasthan. Their father was away. Dungar and his brother Mahendra tried to run outside. While Dungar managed to run to safety, Mahendra got caught in the fire. 

Hearing his cries, Dungar immediately jumped into the flames and brought him out safely. Villagers then informed the police and called an ambulance. 

'I love my brother very much. I could not have let him die,' says Dungar, who wants to become a Hindi teacher.

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Prasannata Shandilya, 11
State: Odisha
Awarded for fighting off robbers 

On April 12, 2011, after breaking into her parents' bedroom, five men started beating them up with an iron rod.

They also attacked her father with a sharp weapon. Prasannata woke up hearing his father's screams. She saw her father bleeding profusely and mother writhing in pain. But without losing composure, she tiptoed into the kitchen.

"I couldn't watch my parents in pain. I saw the two jars containing turmeric and chill powder. I didn't know which was what, so I mixed both and rushed back to the bedroom. It threw the powder in the eyes of three of the intruders," she says.

Panic-stricken, the miscreants fled.

Studying in Class VI, the braveheart wants to become an IPS officer.

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Kapil Singh Negi, 15
State: Uttarakhand
Posthumously given Bharat Award for: Helping schoolmates cross an over-flooded stream

 

Kapil had on September 8, 2011, 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," Kapil's father Birendra Singh Negi said

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Saudhita Barman, 11
State: West Bengal

Saudhita Barman lost her life as she saved three girls from drowning.

Lovely Verma, 12
State: Uttar Pradesh


Lovely Verma died while saving two of her friends from drowning in a pond.

Other recipients: Yandam Amara Uday Kiran and Suthrapu Shiva Prasad (Andhra Pradesh), Ranjan Pradhan and Sheetal Sadvi Saluja (Chhattisgarh), Divyaben Mansangbhai Chauhan (Gujarat), Sandesh P Hegde and Sindhushree BA (Karnataka), Mohammed Nishadh V P, Anshif C K and Sahsad K (Kerala), Johnson Tourangbam and Kshetrimayum Rakesh Singh (Manipur), Late C Lalduhawma (Mizoram), G Parameswaran (Tamil Nadu).

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