Nagpur: Four boys from Maharashtra were among the 25 children named on Monday for the National Child Bravery Awards. The children will be presented the awards by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a function in New Delhi on January 24.
Gaurav Sahastrabuddhe, 15, from Nagpur, who lost his life while saving four of his friends in Ambazari Lake, has been posthumously conferred the Bharat Award, the highest of the awards. A Class X student, Gaurav was near Ambazari Lake in Nagpur on June 3, 2014 when he heard the screams of four of his friends who were drowning. He jumped into the water, and saved three of his friends, but drowned when he was helping the fourth friend to safety. His mother Rekha Sahastrabuddhe will receive the award.
Twelve-year-old Mohit Dalvi from Walkeshwar in Mumbai is also among the award winners. On April 25, 2014, he noticed nine-year-old Krishna Pashte struggling to stay afloat in the Banganga tank in Walkeshwar. Young Krishna, a resident of Diva, was visiting her maternal uncle who lives in Walkeshwar during the summer holidays, and was bathing in the Banganga tank which is 25 feet deep. Her legs got stuck in the mud as she entered the heritage tank, and was sinking when she began shouting for help. An alert Mohit jumped into the water and rescued her.
On August 30, 2014, Nilesh Bheel from Jalgaon rescued 11-year-old Bhagwat Ugale from Buldhana when the latter fell into water near Saint Muktai temple while washing his feet before entering the temple. Nilesh, who is a class V student of Kothali zilla parishad school in Kothali in Muktainagar tehsil, jumped into the water and saved the boy. He was also honoured for his bravery by the local police.
On July 26, 2004, Vaibhav Ghangare from Wardha district was playing with his friends in Nandi river when the flow of water suddenly increased. He saw his friend Suhas Borkar being washed away in the current. He was fortunate that he could hold on to a cement pipe under a bridge nearby. As local people watched in horror, young Vaibhav braved the river currents to rescue his friend to safety.
The four bravehearts are among 22 boys and three girls who will be honoured. They will be presented a bravery medal, a certificate, and cash prizes. “The Indian Council for Child Welfare provides financial assistance to the award winners till they complete their education,” said Gita Siddarth, president of Indian Council for Child Welfare. President Pranab Mukherjee is the patron-in-chief of the ICCW.