Your feats comparable to those of soldiers, Antony to awardees

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New Delhi, Jan 22 (UNI) Defence Minister A K Antony today told the young recepients of the National Bravery Awards that their great achievements were no less courageous than those of the Defence personnel.

''Your achievements are great and comaparable to the Armed Forces personnel, guarding the borders in inhospitable terrain and weather conditions,'' he said, when the awardees called on him at the Defence Ministry.

The Minister wished all of them the very best in life.

A total of 22 children -- 18 boys and four girls -- have been conferred with the award, four of them posthumously.

The awardees include teenagers Babita (17) and Amarjeet (15) who swung into action to save their schoolmates when their bus fell into a canal and high school student Meher who fought off the murderer of her grandmother and younger brother.

The young awardees comprise one of the most endearing sights of the Republic Day parade -- mounted on gorgeously caparisoned elephants, a band of red-blazered bravehearts who abjured their own safety and rose above fear to display exemplary courage in saving their relatives or absolute strangers, apprehending criminals or fighting against obnoxious social practices.

The prestigious Bharat Award has been conferred on Babita and Amarjeet, students of Satkumbha Vidya Mandir in Kheri Gujjar village, Sonepat. Rather than escape themselves, when their bus fell into the Western Yamuna Canal in August 2006, they helped the driver rescue the children, saving over half a dozen of them.

Mizo girl Lalrempuii (14), who resisted a rapist at the cost of her own life, is the posthumous recepient of the Geeta Chopra Award, while six-year-old Yuktarth Shrivastava of Rajnandgaon in Chhattisgarh, has been conferred the Sanjay Chopra Award, for fearlessly fending off stray dogs attacking his less then a year old sister, despite being bitten several times.

The recepients of the Bapu Gaidhani awards are 12-year-old Raipalli Vamsi, who saved five of the eight girls caught in a river in spate, 16-year-old Konthoujam Boney Singh who rescued three boys drowning though one of them succumbed and Amol Aghi (15), who doggedly pursued a band of robbers, who mercilessly killed him to escape unhindered.

UNI VD SBC KP1945

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