These kids risked their lives to save others’

New Delhi, Jan 17 (IANS) Their daredevil acts in dire straits surpass the everyday acts of courage that we read or hear about. These confident and audacious children have been selected for National Bravery Awards for they are an inspiration to us, all in all for their conscience and moral bravery.

One of them fought a leopard to save his cousin, another one sacrificed his life to extinguish a fire in his neighbour’s shed. Then there is one who bravely saved his classmate from a 4-feet-long black cobra.

Two of these children showed immense courage in fearlessly helping the police and an NGO in uncovering an international sex racket leading to the arrest of the mastermind in Delhi.

There are incredible stories of bravery in the world and what stands the 25 of them apart is how they address the value of life by boiling it down to the matter of morality.

They will take pride of place at the head of the Republic Day parade as it rolls down Rajpath here on January 26.

Nine-year-old Sonu Mali from Manohar Pura, Rajasthan, who saved his classmate from a cobra attack, felt no fear while doing so.

“I wasn’t at all scared. For me, it was important to save my classmate from the snake,” the bright-eyed Mali told IANS.

His mother, Rameshi Devi, was petrified when she heard his story. “I scolded him saying, ‘Why did you have to risk your life’. To which he said ‘I had to save his life’,” she said.

Tejasweeta Pradhan and Shivani Gond from Darjeeling helped the police and an NGO in uncovering an international sex racket leading to the arrest of the mastermind in Delhi.

The girls befriended the traffickers on Facebook in May 2016. They then spent days communicating with them by telephone, convincing the traffickers that they were willing to run away from home before leading them to the police.

“We were obviously scared. There was a lot of fear. But, we didn’t withdraw ourselves from uncovering the racket,” 18-year-old Tejasweeta Pradhan told IANS.

Pradhan with deep compassion spoke about the everyday cases of molestation, rape, and trafficking. “We read about pathetic incidents and abominable acts. We need to take big action against such cases.”

“We can’t tell our girls to stay back at home, to behave in a certain way or to dress in a manner to stay safe. We really need to spread awareness among the male community to respect women as their equals.”

“I believe girls can do anything and everything that a boy can do. The need of the hour is to spread awareness in the society about equality.

Undoubtedly, there is glory and heroism not just in their words but also in their deeds. These kids haven’t gained national fame for nothing.

Another unimaginable story is from Uttrakhand where 15-year-old Sumit Mamgain daringly fought a leopard to save his cousin.

“We were going to a nearby field to graze cattle. A leopard that was hiding in the bushes attacked us. Holding its tail, I hit it with a chopper. It went away and came back after some time. This time again I hit it with same chopper and it fled.”

This 15-year-old kid’s par excellence story astonishes every adult.

There also are those who died during their undaunted and noble deeds. These children have been awarded the bravery award posthumously.

Eight-year-old Tarh Peju from Arunachal Pradesh sacrificed her life in an attempt to save two of her friends from drowning. Lalhriatpuii from Mizoram sacrificed her life in an effort to save her cousin from a car accident.

Tushar Verma from Chattisgarh lost his life as he tried to extinguish a fire in his neighbour’s shed.

Roluahpuii from Mizoram sacrificed her life in a bold act of saving two girls from drowning.

We always talk about learning much from children — how they look at things so lightly and how they live in their own worlds and spread happiness. There are efforts to inculcate strength in them, the quality that we only relate with adulthood.

These children and their real life stories prove the opposite. Such rare acts of golden strength are the kind that they read in their story books and feel inspired by, but these 25 are the children who inspire those stories to be written.