Stories of Grit and Valour
By Tarun Nangia - NEW DELHI
Published: 26th Jan 2014 08:36:41 AM
Each of the 25 children to be feted for their bravery on Republic Day have incredible stories of valour to narrate.
On November 18, 2012, Abhishek Ekka (18), a resident of Chhattisgarh had invited two of his friends over to his house to complete home work. Himanshu, frightened by the barking of Abhishek’s dog ran outside and fell straight into a 40 feet deep well. Abhishek dived in and helped his friend on to the ladder of the well and brought him out safety. On July 2, 2012, 17-year-old Rohit Ravi Janmanchi from Maharashtra, saved 11 year old Anushka who had fallen into a drain and was drowning. Delhi boy Sagar Kashyap had his father’s help to save three of four boys from drowning in the Yamuna bank. Later, father and son have helped Delhi police in many such rescue operations.
Fire was the threat that threatened to consume six-year-old Ruchi Chaudhari and 10-year-old Prakakta Chaudhari in their school van that had burst into flames on the national highway on August 11, 2012. Luckily for them, 16-year-old Shubham Santosh Chaudhari was on his way from school. The girls were screaming for help and the driver had panicked. A crowd had collected, watching helplessly. Shubham rushed to the vehicle and tried to open the door but the handle was too hot to seize. Undeterred, he broke van’s window and unlocked the door from inside. He then pulled out the girls from the blaze and smoke safely before calling the fire brigade. His exemplary courage saved two lives, and for his act, he received the Sanjay Chopra award for bravery.
A girl fighting a leopard seems like something out of a Bollywood script but it was too real for 14 year old Shilpa Sharma from Himachal Pradesh. On October 27, 2012, while Shilpa and her brother Anshul were walking to their school in a nearby village along a narrow jungle path, a leopard suddenly pounced on Anshul and threw him on the ground. On hearing his cries, Shilpa ran towards the beast and hit it with her school bag while shouting simultaneously for help. It was the leopard’s turn to be frightened and it fled into the bushes. Anshul was bleeding profusely from his neck, head and arms, but he survived. 17-year-old Sanjay Sutar of Maharashtra, too, did not hesitate to fight with a leopard, which attacked his friend Akshay Roj on July 30, 2012. While grazing cattle, Akshay, who was busy plucking flowers, was attacked by a leopard. Sanjay counter-attacked with his sickle, forcing the animal to abandon its would-be prey and escape. Both Akshay and Sanjary (13), received “Bapu Gaidhani” bravery award from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
There are urban predators too who got their comeuppance at the hands of the young braves. On February 15, 2013, Malieka of Rajasthan was on way to her tuition class. While waking she saw a boy standing at one end of the road and staring at her. Ignoring him, she kept waking. A little later the boy accosted her, and with the help of an accomplice bundled her into a car parked nearby in which two men were sitting. Despite it being a crowded street, no passer by responded to her cries for help.
She kicked one of the boys and jumped out of the car. The others got out and started pummelling her. She had the presence of mind to take a penknife from her bag and attack them. The molesters fled in panic. Malieka received the Geeta Chopra bravery award for showing rare grit and determination in fighting off her attackers. Geeta and her brother Sanjay Chopra were kidnapped and murdered in Delhi’s ridge in 1978, raising public outcry.