A total of 18 children, including seven girls and 11 boys aged between 6 to 18, will be honoured for their display of courage with the National Bravery Award by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 24, 2018 on the eve of Republic day. Three of them are being awarded posthumously. President Ramnath Kovind will host a reception for the awardees who will also participate in the Republic Day parade on January 26.
People of Northeastern India to be feel proud because among these 18 National Bravery Awardees, 8 are belong to the Northeastern states. Their acts of valiant bravery and courage have earned them one of the most coveted honors of the country and they will be an inspiration to a generation of Indians to come.
1- Betshwajohn Lyngdoh Peinlang from Meghalaya
Betshwajohn Peinlang lived in a thatched roof house in West Khasi Hills. Betshwajohn, 14 and his 3-year-old brother Arbius were in the kitchen when a fire broke out and the house was in flames in no time. Betshwajohn showed great bravery and plunged into the fire to save his younger brother.For his show of courage, Master Betshwajohn Lyngdoh Peinlang will be awarded the Bapu Gaidhani Award.
2- Late F Lalchhandama from Mizoram
F Lalchhandama was at the banks of Tlawng. Accompanied by a couple of his friends who had returned after writing a test. A sudden mishap led to one of the friends drowning. In an attempt to save his friend the 18-year-old Lalchhandama jumped into the river too. None of them could be saved. When their bodies were recovered Lalchhandama had his arms around his friend’s body.A true example of friendship and bravery, Late Master F Lalchhandama will be bestowed with the National Bravery Award.
3- Zonuntluanga, Mizoram
The 16-year-old is a resident of Sialhau Village in central Mizoram’s Serchhip district. He saved his own father from a wild bear attack. The father-son duo ventured into the forest to collect vegetables when a wild bear attacked his father and severely wounded his face. Zonuntluanga, disturbed as he was by his father’s painful screams, still rushed to his rescue and bravely fought with the wild bear. Despite any big weapons, the youngster successfully chased the bear away with his rudimentary weapons. He then took his father to his village where he was treated.
4- Late Loukrakpam Rajeshwori Chanu from Manipur
This girl from Mizoram was killed while saving a woman and her child who fell from a dilapidated bridge into the Imphal river. Though she managed to rescue the mother and child, she herself couldn’t fight the strong current and was washed away. Her death rattled her villagers enough to burn the Arung bridge down. Till date, the government hasn’t built another one. Rajeshwori’s father Laukrokpamraj will be receiving her posthumous award.
5- Chingai Wangsa from Nagaland
The 18-year-old from Nagaland saved an elderly man from a fire in his village in Mokokchung district in September.
Other recipients of the award from Northeast India include, Mansha N, Nagaland, N. Shangpon Konyak, Nagaland and Yoaknei, Nagaland,
Other brave young Indians receiving the coveted honour are,
Km. Nazia, Uttar Pradesh (Bharat Award)
Late Km. Netravati M. Chavan, Karnataka
Master Karanbeer Singh, Punjab
Km. Mamata Dalai, Odisha
Master Pankaj Kumar Mahanta, Odisha
Master Sebastian Vincent, Kerala
Km. Laxmi Yadav, Chhattisgarh
Km. Samridhi Sushil Sharma, Gujarat
Master Pankaj Semwal, Uttarakhand
Master Nadaf Ejaj Abdul Rauf, Maharashtra
The ICCW confers children with National Awards every year. The awardees receive a medal, certificate and cash. Eligible awardees are 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, ICCW has given awards to 963 brave children – 680 boys and 283 girls.