The national awards for bravery or the National Bravery Awards was started in 1957 by the Indian Council for Child Welfare (ICCW) to recognize and honor children who have performed outstanding deeds of bravery and selfless sacrifice.

Every year the ICCW confers these awards to children below 16 years of age. The awards are announced on November 14 (Children s Day) and the Prime Minister presents the awards on the eve of Republic Day. The awardees receive a medal, certificate and cash as a token of their indispensable courage. These children also take part in the Republic Day Parade atop an elephant. In addition to this, some of them are also granted financial assistance to complete their schooling and professional courses such as medical and engineering (under the Indira Gandhi scholarship scheme). Assistance is also provided to some till they complete their graduation.

The Central and State government departments, Panchayats, Zila Parishads, State and Union Territory councils for Child Welfare and also the school authorities have the responsibility of acknowledging the applications for the bravery award.

The selection is made by a committee constituted by the ICCW, comprising of representatives from the Secretariats of the President and the Vice-President, various ministries, as well as the Central Social Welfare Board, police, All India Radio, Doordarshan and leading NGOs such as the National Bal Bhavan, SOS, Children s Villages of India, R K Mission and experienced ICCW members.

In 1978, the Indian Council for Child Welfare instituted two bravery awards for children under the age of 16, the Sanjay Chopra Award and the Geeta Chopra Award, given each year along with the National Bravery Award.

Bravery Awards

In India, the National Bravery Awards are a set of awards given to children for their exceptional courage and bravery. These awards were established by the Indian Council for Child Welfare (ICCW) to recognize and honor children who have displayed outstanding bravery in challenging situations. The National Bravery Awards are presented annually on Republic Day (January 26).

There are three categories of National Bravery Awards:

Bharat Award: The highest award, named after Bharat, is given to individuals who have shown exemplary bravery and selfless sacrifice.

Geeta Chopra Award and Sanjay Chopra Award: These awards are given to a girl and a boy, respectively, for their courage in saving others from life-threatening situations.

Bapu Gaidhani Award: This award is given posthumously to a child who has exhibited exceptional bravery and sacrificed their life to save others.

Apart from the National Bravery Awards, there are also State Bravery Awards instituted by some states in India to recognize courageous acts at the state level. These awards aim to inspire and motivate young individuals to act bravely and selflessly in the face of adversity.

Gallantry Awards

India has a set of Gallantry Awards that are conferred upon military personnel and civilians for acts of bravery and valor in the face of the enemy or in other challenging circumstances. These awards are an acknowledgment of exceptional courage and selfless service. Here are some of the key Gallantry Awards in India:

Param Vir Chakra (PVC): The highest military decoration awarded for the highest degree of valor or self-sacrifice in the presence of the enemy. It is equivalent to the Medal of Honor in the United States.

Maha Vir Chakra (MVC): The second-highest military decoration awarded for acts of conspicuous gallantry in the presence of the enemy.

Vir Chakra (VrC): Awarded for acts of gallantry in the presence of the enemy.

Ashoka Chakra: The highest peacetime gallantry award, it is given for courageous action or self-sacrifice away from the battlefield.

Kirti Chakra: Conferred for conspicuous gallantry in non-combatant situations.

Shaurya Chakra: Awarded for gallantry other than in the face of the enemy.

These awards are open to all ranks of the armed forces, paramilitary forces, and even civilians. The recipients are chosen through a rigorous selection process based on the level of bravery and sacrifice demonstrated in the line of duty. The President of India presents these awards on Republic Day and Independence Day.

Read here about the Indian Gallantry Awards

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