Two children from Karnataka have been selected for the Indian Council of Child Welfare National Bravery Awards 2019. One of the recipients is Venkatesh, a 12-year-old from Raichur, who guided an ambulance through a submerged bridge during the devastating floods in parts of the state. The other recipient from the state is 9-year-old Aarti Kiran Shet, from Uttara Kannada district, who saved her two-year-old brother from a raging cow.
A total of 22 children will be presented with these awards on the occasion of Republic Day on January 26.
On August 11, 2019, Venkatesh, a class VI student at Government Primary School at Hirerayanakumpe village of Raichur district, was playing with a group of friends when he saw an ambulance carrying six children and a woman's dead body was stuck on a bridge due to the rising water levels. The ambulance was heading to Machanoor village in Yadgir district.
When the driver, Manju (of Prasanna Ambulance services), called the group of boys to guide and help him cross the flooded area, Venkatesh volunteered. He guided the ambulance by wading through the flooded bridge.
Venkatesh's act was broadcast by several news channels and was a topic of discussion on social media, where many lauded the boy for his brave effort.
Even senior IAS officer P Manivannan, Secretary, Labour Department, took note of his act and recommended the Women and Child Development Department to give him a bravery award.
"I am of the opinion that the young student is entitled to be encouraged and honoured for his act of bravery and wish to recommend for considering and including his name in the list of bravery awards in this year. I hope my recommendation will be weighed favourably," Manivannan wrote.
The Times of India reported that Aarti, a daughter of an LIC agent was playing with her younger sibling in Navilagon village in Honnavar, when the raging cow charged towards him. At the time, her brother was on a tricycle and she was pushing it. On seeing the cow charge towards them, she picked him up and ran towards safety.
When the cow followed and attacked them, she screamed for help. This alerted her family members, who managed to chase the cow away.