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ICCW confers bravery awards on 21 children amid tussle with government

Press Trust of India
26th Jan 2019
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The government distanced itself from the ICCW after its financial integrity was questioned by the Delhi High Court during the hearing of a writ petition.

The Indian Council for Child Welfare (ICCW) conferred bravery awards on 21 children on Friday amid a tussle with the government. In the past, the NGO used to select the children for bravery awards, which were presented on Republic Day by the president.

But this year, the government distanced itself from ICCW after its financial integrity was questioned by the Delhi High Court during the hearing of a writ petition.

The Women and Child Development Ministry has also filed an FIR against the ICCW over alleged embezzlement of funds. The ministry was funding ICCW for the National Creche Scheme as well as the National Bravery Awards.

Bravery awards
In the past, the children selected by ICCW for bravery awards were awarded by the President on Republic Day. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seen at the ICCW National Bravery Awards function in 2017. Credit: Twitter/Narendra Modi

The government also reinvented the national children's awards for this year and included bravery as one of the categories under what is now the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar, 2019. The awards were presented to 26 recipients on Tuesday.

However, ICCW had already selected these children for its awards and held a separate function on Friday to felicitate them.

The Bharat Award was conferred on two children for separate acts of valour by Vice Admiral Raman Puri, retired flag office commanding in chief, Eastern Naval Command.

Nine-year-old Gurugu Hima Priya and 14-year-old Soumyadip Jana, both from Jammu, were awarded for bravely confronting heavily armed terrorists, according to a statement by the NGO.

The Geeta Chopra Award was posthumously conferred on 15-year-old Nitisha Negi, a resident of Delhi, who sacrificed her life in an attempt to save a friend from drowning in sea, the statement said.

The Sanjay Chopra Award was given to 7-year-old Gohil Jayrajsinh who saved his friend from a leopard attack, it said.

Anika Jaimini (9) of Rajasthan, Camelia Kathy Kharbyngar (14) of Meghalaya and Situ Malik (15) of Odisha were conferred with the Bapu Gaidhani Awards.

Jaimini fearlessly confronted her kidnapper and foiled the kidnapping bid. Kharbyngar saved her 17-year-old mentally challenged brother, who was trapped in a raging fire at their residence. Malik dragged his uncle to safety when after a crocodile attacked him, the statement said.

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