Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday presented the National Bravery Award 2017 to 18 children including Mamata Dalai and Pankaj Mohanta from Odisha.
Odia kids Mamata Dalai (6) from Kendrapara district and Pankaj Kumar Mahanta (14) from Keonjhar district were awarded for their bravery to save lives of four persons in separate incidents. While Mamata rescued her elder sister from a crocodile attack, Pankaj rescued three women from being swept away in a river.
The brave children were felicitated and conferred award at a function in New Delhi. On the occasion, the Prime Minister lauded the winners’ efforts and their courageous acts.
Reportedly on April 6 last year, Mamata and her elder sister Asanti had gone to a nearby pond in Dangamala village under Rajnagar block in Kendrapara to take bath. Suddenly, a crocodile pounced on Asanti and was just about to pull her into the pond, when Mamata courageously dragged her from the animal’s jaws and it slipped into the pond.
On May 22 last year, three women Baijayanti (25), Pushpalata (22) and Suchita (34) had gone to Baitarani river in Keonjhar district to bathe, when suddenly Baijayanti’s foot slipped on the loose sand and she fell into the 20 feet deep and turbulent water. The other two women who tried to rescue her were also pulled and swept away by strong currents in the river. Seeing the trio in danger, Pankaj dived into the river and saved the women one by one.
Soon after the award function, President Ram Nath Kovind met all the 18 bravehearts at the Rashtrapati Bhawan where he specially praised the efforts of young Mamata for her fearless and bold action.
All the National Bravery Award winners will also attend the parade as the special guests on the occasion of Republic Day on January 26.