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Bravery Awards 2007 for 22 children

Staff Reporter

Youngest awardee Shrivastava wants to become a doctor to save more lives

— Photo: S. Subramanium

LITTLE HEROES: Children selected for the National Bravery Awards 2007 at a press conference in New Delhi on Friday.

NEW DELHI: Twenty-two children – 18 boys and four girls — have been selected for the National Bravery Awards 2007. Four will be given posthumously.

The coveted Bharat Award has been bagged by Babita (17) and Amarjeet (15) from Haryana. They saved several of their schoolmates from drowning when their bus fell into the Western Yamuna Canal.

Introducing the children to the media on Friday, Indian Council for Child Welfare president Gita Siddhartha said: “The awards are aimed at giving due recognition to children who distinguish themselves by performing outstanding deeds of bravery and meritorious service and inspire other children to emulate their example. The awardees will receive a medal, a certificate and cash.”

The Sanjay Chopra Award has gone to six-year-old Yuktarth Shrivastava of Chhattisgarh. He saved his sister from stray dogs. The Geeta Chopra Award had been conferred posthumously on 14-year-old Lalrempuii of Mizoram. She resisted a rape attempt and lost her life in the process.

The children will receive the awards from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on January 24, and will participate in the Republic Day Parade riding caparisoned elephants. They were selected by a high-power committee, comprising representatives of various Ministries, departments, non-government organisations and senior members of the Indian Council for Child Welfare.

Youngest awardee Shrivastava said: “When I picked up my younger sister to save her from stray dogs, I was not afraid. I only wanted to save her life. I got bitten but I managed to save her and myself. I want to be a doctor and save more lives when I grow up.”

Standing up against a social evil (child marriage), Congress Kanwar (13) refused to get married despite constant pressure from her parents and community. She told her father that she would complain to the police if he went ahead with her marriage plans. “I want to become a police officer when I grow up. There are several girls who are not willing to raise their voice against the ills in society. If I give them support, I know there will be more youngsters who will say ‘no’ to wrong customs,” she said.

The other recipients of the awards are: Raveendra Halder, Ravi Kumar Jhariya, Awadhesh Kumar Jhariya, Manas Nishad (all from Chhattisgarh), Vishnu C.S. and Bijin Babu (both from Kerala), K. Rajkumar, Pinjari Chinigi Sab (both from Andhra Pradesh), Meher Legha (Uttar Pradesh), Ankit Rai, Abhishake (posthumous) and Suraj (posthumous) (all from Haryana), Subhash Kumar (Uttar Pradesh) and Sunil Kumar P.N. (Karnataka).

Raipalli Vamsi (Andhra Pradesh), Boney Singh (Manipur) and Amol Aghi (posthumous) of Haryana have been awarded the Bapu Gaidhani Award.

As part of the awards, financial assistance under the Indira Gandhi Scholarship Scheme is provided to those undertaking professional courses. For others, this assistance is provided till they complete their graduation. The Union government has reserved some seats for these awardees in medical and engineering colleges and polytechnics.

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