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Chattisgarh teenager receives bravery award for saving brother from Maoists

New Delhi, Sat, 21 Jan 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Jan 21 (ANI): A teenager, Anjali Singh Gautam, hailing from Chhattisgarh, has received the National Bravery Award 2011, for saving her younger brother in a Maoist attack.


India's Women and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath on Friday felicitated Gautam in New Delhifor her bravery.


While narrating the incident of her courage, Gautam said that on July 7, 2010, a group of Maoists entered her house to kill her father, Avadesh Singh Gautam, a Congress Party leader, while she was sleeping with her younger brother, Abhijeet, in her room.


Her parents managed to escape through the backdoor of the house. However, Gautam and her brother were trapped in their room.


The rebels entered their room and injured her young brother by firing on his legs.


Seeing the aching condition of her brother, a brave Anjali fought off the Maoists and someway managed to escape with her brother on her shoulder.


Gautam reached her grandparent's residence and later, took her brother to a Dantewada hospital for treatment.


"Firstly, I was scared and puzzled about what steps to take to combat the situation and how to save my brother. Then my brother suggested I take him to my uncle's place. But I told him that it is impossible for me to take him there. So, I took him to my grandparents residence, where my grandfather, grandmother and aunt were present. I asked them about my parents so they assured me that they are safe. Later, around 3 a.m, we brought my younger brother to Dantewada for treatment," said Anjali.


She will receive the National Bravery Award 2011 from Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on the eve of Republic Day.


She has plans to request Dr. Singh to take a call over rising Maoist activities in Chattisgarh.


"If I get an opportunity to meet the Prime Minister, I would urge him to think of a solution to remove Maoism from Chhattisgarh as they (Maoists) kill innocent villagers without reason," said Anjali.


Somwati, Anjali's mother, also expressed her happiness over the award being given to her daughter.


"I am very happy. I was not aware that something like this would happen. I am touched by my daughter's brave effort," said Somwati.


The National Bravery Award for Indian Children is given each year by Government of India and Indian Council for Child Welfare to Indian children for meritorious acts of bravery against all odds.


The award is given to 24 children below the age of 16. One of two coveted awards in this category, Sanjay Chopra Award and Geeta Chopra Award, instituted in 1978 in the memory of Chopra children who were murdered by their kidnappers, are given to a boy and a girl respectively for acts of bravery.


The highest awards are the Bharat Award, constituted in 1987, and the Bapu Gayadhani Award instituted in 1988. These awards are equal to the highest military awards of the country. (ANI)


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