Every Republic Day, the Indian government presents a set of National Bravery Awards to children between the age of six and 18, who have performed “outstanding deeds of bravery and meritorious service” and inspired other children. The stories of the 25 children who have received the National Bravery Awards 2015, are both inspiring and courageous.
The winners include 22 boys and three girls from various Indian states, two of which are posthumous awardees. While several children displayed exemplary courage in saving their friends and family members during accidents, others valiantly fought robbers and assailants.
The late 15-year-old Gaurav Kawduji Sahastrabuddhe was conferred the Bharat Award for saving his four friends from drowing in a lake near his home. A good swimmer, Sahastrabuddhe lost his life while rescuing his friends.
The youngest award-winner is Shivampet Ruchita, who was just eight years old, when the school bus she was travelling in collided with a train. Ruchita managed to push two friends out of the bus window, even though 16 students died in the accident, including her sister. Meanwhile, 16-year-old Arjun Singh received the Sanjay Chopra Award for saving his mother from a tiger’s attack after the animal entered their home in a hilly village.
Three children were given the Bapu Gaidhani Awards. While 15-year-old Ramdinthara prevented two people from being electrocuted, 13-year-old Rakeshbhai Shanabhai Patel saved a boy from drowning in a 20-foot-deep well, and Aromal SM saved two women from drowning in a deep pond.
Other award receipients include Kashish Dhanani (Gujarat), Maurice Yengkhom and Chongtham Kuber Meitei (both from Manipur), Angelica Tynsong (Meghalaya), Sai Krishna Akhil Kilambi (Telangana), Joena Chakraborty and Sarwanand Saha (both from Chhattisgarh), Dishant Mehndiratta (Haryana), Beedhovan,Nithin Philip Mathew, Abhijith K.V., Anandu Dileep and Muhammad Shamnad (all from Kerala), Mohit Mahendra Dalvi, Nilesh Revaram Bhil, Vaibhav Ramesh Ghangare (all from Maharashtra), Abinash Mishra (Odisha), Bhimsen and late Shivansh Singh (both from Uttar Pradesh).
Started in 1957, the National Bravery Awards have been presented to 920 children so far. The recipients get a medal, certificate and cash, as well as financial assistance for completing their education.