Two Jammu and Kashmir youths among ICCW National Bravery awardees

Two Jammu and Kashmir youths among ICCW National Bravery awardees
Two Jammu and Kashmir youths among ICCW National Bravery awardees

New Delhi: Two youths from Jammu & Kashmir, and a Karnataka boy who guided an ambulance during floods in the State, are among those chosen for the ICCW National Bravery Awards this year, officials said on Tuesday.The names of the awardees -- 10 girls and 12 boys -- were announced by the Indian Council for Child Welfare (ICCW) on Tuesday at a press conference here. Sixteen-year-old Muhammed Muhsin from Kozhikode in Kerala, who drowned while saving three of his friends in the rough sea in April last year, has been chosen for the ICCW Abhimanyu Award posthumously, the officials said. Kupwara native Sartaj Mohidin Mugal, 16, and Mudasir Ashraf, 19, from Budgam are among the awardees for performing acts of valour in Kashmir in 2019. "I was on the first floor of my home in Tumina village of Kupwara in October last year, when a shell fired by adversaries hit my house on the first floor and as a result my room was filled with smoke. I immediately jumped from the first floor, and then rushed to the ground floor where my parents and two sisters were," Mugal said.

"I picked my sister Sadia, 8, in my hands and Sania, 13, held my hands, while my parents ran out of the room, before the damaged house collapsed," he told PTI. Mugal has been selected for the ICCW Shravan Award.Ashraf, from Budgam, had rushed to help people after a Mi-17 helicopter had crashed in a village there. "The helicopter debris had hit a villager, who caught fire. I tried to douse flames by putting soil on him, but in vain. Help arrived later, but the man could not be saved. I tried very hard," he said. Venkatesh, 11, from Karnataka, who guided an ambulance carrying a body and relatives of the deceased during the floods last August, will also receive the award, officials said. ICCW, an NGO, has been organising these awards since 1957, and has awarded 1,004 children -- 703 boys and 301 girls -- till last year. However, in January 2019, sources had said that the central government had undertaken its own selection process for national children's awards and dissociated itself from the Bravery Awards given by the Council. The Women and Child Development (WCD) Ministry had then said it had reinvented the national children's awards and included bravery as one of the categories under the awards, called the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar, 2019. ICCW Life Patron Gita Siddhartha, when asked on Tuesday who will present the awards this year and when, said, "It has not been decided yet but it will be done soon". Assam boy Kamal Krishna Das, 12, from Assam's Guwahati who saved his mother, aunt and himself after being throw overboard a boat in Brahmaputra in September 2018, is also among the awardees. Das, whose mother, Situmoni Das, a housewife, was present at the press conference, said he aspired to become a doctor. "I recognised my mother by her bangles when she was drowning in the river waters. I swam back from the shores and then rescued my aunt too. There were nearly 30 people on the boat before they were all thrown overboard," he said. Another boy who displayed exemplary courage is Everbloom K Nongrum, 10, from Meghalaya, who saved two of his friends in separate drowning incidents last year. A resident of Mawryngkneng village in East Khasi district, Everbloom when asked if he felt afraid jumping into the waters, said, "No, not at all. I will not shy away from saving more lives in future, if it is in my capacity". The youngest recipient would be Lourembam Yaikhomba Mangang, 8, from Manipur, who saved the life of a boy who was drowning in Imphal River in March 2019. Adithya K, 15, from Kerala, who helped rescue over 40 people after the bus they were travelling in caught fire while returning from Nepal, has been chosen for the ICCW Bharat Award. 

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