18 Jan : The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh will give away National Bravery Awards for 2008 to twenty children – 12 girls and 8 boys – at a function in New Delhi on January 23, 2009. One Award will be given posthumously. The Sanjay Chopra Award has been given to 13 year old Master Saumik Mishra of Uttar Pradesh who fought miscreants to foil a theft attempt.The prestigious Geeta Chopra Award has been conferred on 10 year old Km. Prachi Santosh Sen of Madhya Pradesh who saved four children from getting electrocuted.Km. Asu Kanwar (14 years) of Rajasthan, Km. Seema Kanwar (16 ½ years) and Late Km. Kavita Kanwar (15 years) of Chhattisgarh have been given the Bapu Gaidhani Awards. Km. Asu Kanwar revolted against child marriage while Seema and Kavita braved a fire to try and save their friends. Kavita lost her life in the incident.
The other recipients are: Km. Kritika Jhanwar, Km. Hina Quereshi (both from Rajasthan), Km. Silver Kharbani (Meghalaya), Km. Anita Kora, Km. Rina Kora (both from West Bengal), Km. Dinu K.G., Km. Manjusha A. (both from Kerala), Master Y. Addison Singh(Manipur), Master Shahanshah (U.P.), Master Vishal Suryaji Patil (Maharashtra), Master M. Marudu Pandi (Tamil Nadu), Km. Bhoomika J. Murthy, Master Gagan J. Murthy (Karnataka), Master Manish Bansal (Haryana) and Master Rahul (New Delhi).
The selection was made by a high powered committee comprising representatives of various Ministries/Departments, non-governmental organisations as well as senior members of Indian Council for Child Welfare.
The National Bravery Award Scheme was initiated by the Indian Council for Child Welfare in 1957 and since then a total of 756 children – 541 boys and 215 girls – have been given the Awards. Deserving awardees will be granted financial assistance until they complete their schooling under the Sponsorship Programme of the ICCW. The Government of India has reserved some seats for the awardees in medical and engineering colleges and polytechnics.The children will participate in the Republic Day parade on January 26 at Rajpath.