An 11-year-old boy who saved eight of his school mates from a
burning van in Uttar Pradesh, and a 14-year-old girl who rescued
her brother from the Maoist attack in Chattisgarh are among the 24
children named for the National Bravery Awards this year for their
exemplary acts of courage.
At a press meet here Wednesday, Gita Siddartha, president of the
Indian Council for Child Welfare (ICCW), presented the
brave-hearts who will be given the award. Of the 24 -- eight are
girls and 16 boys -- five children will be awarded posthumously.
"Last year, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh promised to enhance the
prize money and this year the prize money is three times higher.
Eighty percent comes from Ministry of Women and Child Development
and 20 percent comes from the ICCW. Usually each honoured child
gets a cash award ranging from Rs.7,000 to Rs.10,000, but, this
year the prize money ranges between Rs.24,000 to Rs.50,000," Aseem
Paul, director of ICCW, told IANS.
The prize money for Bharat Award is Rs.50,000, recipients of Geeta
Chopra Award would receive Rs.40,000, the Bapu Gaidhani award
prize money will be Rs.24,000. For others, the award will carry
President Pratibha Patil will host reception in the honor of the
Om Prakash Sharma, an 11-year-old boy from Azamgarh in Uttar
Pradesh, saved lives of eight of his school mates from a burning
school van and suffered 70 percent burns.
"I feel very proud because I saved lives of my fellow school
mates. I am happy to receive this award from the Prime Minister.
My message is that people must help each other," said Sharma.
The coveted Bharat Award has been conferred on 15-year-old Kapil
Negi from Uttarakhand who helped his classmates cross a flooded
stream. Kapil lost his life in his endeavour.
An emotional Anita Negi, Kapil's mother, said: "He wanted to
become a software engineer. We are proud of my son, but he is no
Thirteen-year-old Mittal Patadiya from Gujarat, who faced an armed
gang and foiled their robbery attempt, will be conferred with the
Geeta Chopra bravery award.
Anjali Singh Gautam, 14, of Chhatisgarh saved her younger brother
in a Maoist attack. With Aditya Gopal of Arunanachal Pradesh, Uma
Shankar of Delhi, she will be awarded with the Bapu Gaidhani
The children have been selected for the honour by a committee
comprising representatives of various ministries, NGOs and ICCW
members. They will receive a silver medal, a certificate and the
cash award from the prime minister ahead of the Republic Day Jan
According to the ICCW, eligible award winners will be granted
financial assistance until they complete their schooling as part
of the ICCW's sponsorship programme. They will be facilitated to
study professional courses like medical and engineering under the
Indira Gandhi Scholarship Scheme.
The children will also participate in the Republic Day parade,
seated on richly caparisoned elephants.
The National Bravery Awards that recognise deeds of brave children
have been an initiative of the ICCW since 1957.