Twenty five children – 3 girls and 22 boys – have been selected for the National Bravery Awards 2015. Two of the Awards have been given posthumously.
The coveted Bharat Award has been conferred on 15 year old Late Master Gaurav Kawduji Sahastrabuddhe of Maharashtra, who sacrificed his life in an attempt to save four of his friends.
The prestigious Geeta Chopra Award has been conferred on 8 year old Km. Shivampet Ruchitha of Telangana who displayed exemplary valour in saving two precious lives when a train hit her school bus.
The Sanjay Chopra Award has been given to 16 year old Master Arjun Singh of Uttarakhand who displayed outstanding bravery in fighting a tiger to save his mother.
Master Ramdinthara (15 years) of Mizoram, Master Rakeshbhai Shanabhai Patel (13 years) of Gujarat and Master Aromal S.M. (12 years) of Kerala have been given the Bapu Gaidhani Awards. Master Ramdinthara saved two persons from electrocution. Master Rakeshbhai saved a boy who accidentally fell into a deep well. Master Aromal saved two ladies from drowning.
The other recipients are Master Kashish Dhanani (Gujarat), Master Maurice Yengkhom and Master Chongtham Kuber Meitei (both from Manipur), Km. Angelica Tynsong (Meghalaya), Master Sai Krishna Akhil Kilambi (Telangana), Km. Joena Chakraborty and Master Sarwanand Saha (both from Chhattisgarh), Master Dishant Mehndiratta (Haryana), Master Beedhovan, Master Nithin Philip Mathew, Master Abhijith K.V., Master Anandu Dileep and Master Muhammad Shamnad (all from Kerala), Master Mohit Mahendra Dalvi, Master Nilesh Revaram Bhil, Master Vaibhav Ramesh Ghangare (all from Maharashtra), Master Abinash Mishra (Odisha), Master Bhimsen alias Sonu and Late Master Shivansh Singh (both from Uttar Pradesh).
The selection was made by a high powered committee comprising representatives of various Ministries/Departments, non-governmental organisations as well as Office Bearers of Indian Council for Child Welfare (ICCW).
The children will receive their Awards from the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 24 January, 2016 prior to Republic Day and thereafter will participate in the parade.
The National Bravery Award Scheme was initiated by the ICCW 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.
It was in 1957 that two children – a boy and a girl – were first rewarded for their presence of mind and courage. Since then ICCW decided to confer national awards on children every year.
In 1987-88 ICCW instituted the Bharat Award for an exceptionally outstanding, meritorious and gallant deed. The other special awards include the Geeta Chopra and Sanjay Chopra awards (instituted by ICCW in 1978) and the Bapu Gaidhani Awards (instituted in 1988-89).
The awardees receive a medal, certificate and cash.
Eligible awardees will be granted financial assistance until they complete their schooling. Some State Governments also provide financial assistance to them. In addition, ICCW provides financial assistance under its Indira Gandhi Scholarship Scheme to those undertaking professional courses such as engineering and medicine. For the others, this assistance is provided till they complete their graduation. The Government of India has reserved some seats for the awardees in medical and engineering colleges and polytechnics.
Since the inception of the scheme in 1957, the ICCW has given awards to 920 brave children – 656 boys and 264 girls.