12-year-old Karnataka boy to receive bravery award on Republic day for helping ambulance during floods
In August 2019, a young boy went against all odds and risked his own life to help an ambulance through a submerged bridge in Raichur district of Karnataka. The ambulance was carrying six children and the dead body of a woman, and was heading to Machanoor village of Yadgir district in the state.
Twelve-year-old Venkatesh was playing with his friends when he saw an ambulance stuck on a bridge due to the rising water levels. He immediately volunteered to help the driver by guiding him to wade through the flooded bridge.
Venkatesh is now being recognised for his bravery and awarded by the Indian Council of Child Welfare (ICCW) for National Bravery Awards 2019. The award will be presented to 26 children from across India on the Republic Day.
In a previous interview with New Indian Express, Venkatesh said,
“I don’t know if what I did was an act of bravery or not. I just wanted to help the driver.”
He later added, “The driver of the ambulance asked me whether there was a way to go into the stream, and if he could drive the ambulance on the bridge. I showed the way. I do not know what is meant by help, bravery, etc."
A Class VI student of the Government Primary School at Hirerayanakumpe in North Karnataka, the video of Venkatesh volunteering to help the ambulance that was stuck on a flooded bridge was posted on social media by the New Indian Express. Within days, the video went viral on many other platforms and Venkatesh was regarded as a hero.
Senior IAS officer P Manivannan, Labour Department, Govt. of Karnataka, had recommended the Women and Child Development Department to felicitate Venkatesh with a bravery award. He said,
"I believe that the young student is entitled to be encouraged and honoured for his act of bravery and wish to recommend for considering and including his name in the list of bravery awards this year. I hope my recommendation will be weighed favourably,” reports The News Minute.
(Edited by Megha Reddy)
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