Sunday, August 23, 2009

National Bravery Award

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

National Bravery Award
Award Information
Type Civilian
Category Children below age 16
Instituted 1957
Last Awarded 2009
Total Awarded 756 children (541 boys and 215 girls) [1]
Awarded by Government of India

National Bravery Award for Indian Children is given each year by Government of India [2] and Indian Council for Child Welfare (ICCW), to Indian children for meritorious acts of bravery against all odds.

The award is given to around 24 children below the age of 16. One of two coveted awards in this category are the Sanjay Chopra Award and Geeta Chopra Award instituted in 1978, in the memory of Chopra children who laid their lives while confronting their kidnappers, and are given to a boy and a girl respectively for acts of bravery [3]. The highest award in the category is the Bharat Award, constituted in 1987, and the Bapu Gayadhani Award was instituted in 1988.

The Award

The award includes a medal, a certificate and cash award, the Bharat Award winner gets a gold medal, while the rest get a silver medals [4]. Further they are also given financial assistance to complete their schooling, as a part of ICCW's sponsorship programme and professional courses such as medical and engineering, under the Indira Gandhi scholarship scheme [5]. In 2009, the Government of India announced reservation of some seats in Medical and Engineering Colleges and Polytechnics for the winners of the award [6]

List of Awards

  1. Bharat Award, since 1987
  2. Sanjay Chopra Award, since 1978
  3. Geeta Chopra Award, since 1978
  4. Bapu Gayadhani Award, since 1988
  5. National Bravery Award, since 1957


The awards are announced on November 14, Children's Day, and later given by the Prime Minister of India, on the eve of the Republic Day, and later the President hosts a reception in their honour [7]. On 26th January, the awardees take part in Republic Day Parade at Rajpath, New Delhi [3][8].


The origin of the award dates back to October 2, 1957, when India's first Prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, was watching a performance at Delhi's Ramlila grounds, at the Red Fort, and a fire broke out in a shamiana (decorated tent) through a short circuit. Subsequently, Harish Chandra, a 14-year old scout, promptly took out his knife, and ripped open the burning shamiana, saving saved lives of hundreds of trapped people; this incident inspired Pt. Nehru initiate the awards, he asked the authorities to constitute an award to honour brave children from all over the country, and the tradition has continued hence [9], and later Harish Chandra became the first recipient of the award [10]. In 2001, a commemorative book titled 'Brave Hearts' was released featuring, features winners of the 1999 National Bravery Awards [10].

The 2008 awards were given by Vice President, Mohammad Hamid Ansari instead of the PM [11], and for the first time the real name of a 2008 award winner, 12-year-old Balloon seller 'Rahul' was withheld, as he identified the men who planted bombs on Barakhamba Road in New Delhi, during September 13, 2008, Delhi bombings, and helped police make sketches of the suspects [5].


The selection for the award are made from the applications received from sources like the central/state government departments, panchayats, zilla parishads, school authorities as well as state and Union territory councils for child welfare.


The selection of the awardees is made by a committee constituted by the ICCW, comprising representatives from the secretariats of the President and the Vice- President, various several Government Ministries and Departments, as well as the Central Social Welfare Board, the Indian Police, All India Radio, Doordarshan and leading NGOs such as the National Bal Bhavan, SOS Children's Villages of India, Ramakrishna Mission and senior ICCW members.


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