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Republic Day national award for bravery given to 21 children
Indian Council for Child Welfare conferred National Awards for Bravery upon 21 children at New Delhi on January 24, 2010. The presentation of awards was by Minister of State for Women and Child Development, Krishna Tirath.
MINISTER OF State for Women and Child Development (Independent Charge) Krishna Tirath gave away the Republic Day Awards to 21 brave children from various states of India on 24 January 2010 for their heroic acts of bravery under various circumstances.

These awards were conferred by the Indian Council for Child Welfare after approval from Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh. The venue selected for the purpose was the Blue Room Cinema Hall in the famous Russian Cultural Centre at 24 Ferozeshah Road, New Delhi. Among the brave recipients of the awards were three girls Rekha Kalindi (11 yrs old), Sunita Mahato (11 yrs 4 months) and Afsana Khatoon (12 years 5 months).

As all the three were called together to receive the awards, the audience greeted them with unending, rather deafening applause and claps since these were the three brave girls who resisted with all their will power, their parents’ attempt to marry them off and make them hapless ‘Balika Vadhus’ (child brides). Each of them was determined to resist marriage at such a tender age and showed strong aptitude for studies. Sunita Mahato’s father had even fixed a dowry of Rs.30,000. The three girls were fortunately students of the National Child Labor Project (NCLP) Purulia and finding that their parents were unrelenting, they took the help of the teachers at NCLP and many of their friends. Their determination and the efforts made by their friends and teachers rescued them from the curse of child marriage.

The other recipients were: Maibam Prity Devi, Thoi Thoi Kumanthem, Krishnapriya K, Vaishaliben Sambhubhai Solanki, Karan Nishad, Vijith V, NN Solanki, Sujith Kumar P, Uddesh R Ramnathkar, Amal Antony, Dijekshon Syiem, Zoninsanga, Sujith R, Lalrammawia, Yogesh Kumar Jangid and Gaurav Singh Saini. Two brave children who got the awards posthumously were Ranu Mishra and Deepak Kumar Kori. While Ranu saved her drowning brother along with his friend, Deepak Kumar Kori died in a failed attempt to save a girl, Seema. Manipur’s Maibam Prity Devi’s presence of mind saved several wooden shops from being gutted by a bomb thrown in the bazaar in Imphal where she was selling her wares with her mother. As the bomb was thrown by some miscreant, she shouted and rushed to the spot, picked up the bomb and threw it far away. The bomb injured 8 persons but saved many others and their shops. A majority of these brave children were involved in saving drowning children or raising an alarm to call others for the purpose. Karan Nishad did the noble job of saving a woman and her four children who were thrown into water by the woman herself. After throwing the children she had herself jumped into the water.

Gujarat’s Narendra Singh Solanki rescued his father from the clutches of an alligator with the help of his brother. Mizoram’s Lalrammawia rescued a boy trapped inside a garage which was surrounded by a swarm of wasps. Lalramamawia’s presence of mind saved the boy as he set the doormat of the garage on fire by pouring kerosene oil to drive away the wasps. Haryana’s Gaurav Singh Saini’s intelligence saved many people at Nainadevi Temple who had started running hysterically upon hearing a rumor that a landslide had started. Gaurav caught hold of a stretch of barbed wire and virtually hanging himself he swung out to a child asking him to hold his leg and come to the other side. Many people followed suit and found themselves on the other side of a stampede and ultimately jumped to a tin roof. They also started helping each other. Meghalaya’s Dijekshon Syiem fell unconscious as he bravely brought out a child out from a house on fire that was surrounded by straws. Gujarat’s Vaishaliben saved a boy from electrocution by using a wooden rod and successfully hitting him repeatedly to separate him from an electrical wire.

True, there sure must of thousands of brave children in our vast country. But as Minister Krishna Tirath said, these children represent all the brave in India. 

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