New Delhi, January 25
Thirty-two children have been chosen for the Pradhan Mantri Bal Puraskar this year for displaying valour, exceptional abilities and outstanding accomplishments in various fields, including arts, culture, archery and swimming.
Jyoti Kumari, 16, cycled to her native place Darbhanga district in Bihar from Gurugram in Haryana covering around 1,200 km with her father on the rear carrier amid the nationwide lockdown in May last year.
She has been awarded for her bravery.
Her resilience had drawn praise from former US President Donald Trump’s daughter and then senior White House adviser Ivanka Trump, who had termed it a “beautiful feat of endurance and love”.
“She might seem like any other girl of her age, but the courage and strength that she displayed by covering 1,200 kms on a bicycle, that too with her ailing father on the rear seat, cannot be described in words.
“During the COVID-19 lockdown, she traversed 1,200 kms from Sikandarpur in Haryana to Darbhanga in Bihar to reach home,” the citation issued for her by the Women and Child Development Ministry said.
Mohammad Shadab, 17, won the award for his excellence in the field of scholastics. The son of a motor mechanic, Shadab from Aligarh district of Uttar Pradesh is an Indian Youth Ambassador to the US.
“He won a scholarship of USD 28,000 from the United States Department of State for his brilliant mind and efforts to improve the world and topped his American high school,” his citation said.
Shadab has served over 200 community service hours and given more than 50 presentations to promote Indian culture and values. He also started his own non-profit (Girls, Say YES) to promote women’s empowerment.
The youngest awardee this year Kumari Prasiddhi Singh, a 7-year-old social volunteer from Chengalpattu district in Tamil Nadu. She has been awarded for her work in social work.
“She is the founder of Prasiddhi Forest and has been in the India Book of Records for being the youngest fruit forest creator in the country. At a very young age, Prasiddhi created eight fruit forests in government schools and public places and planted over 9,000 trees to feed birds and squirrels and give fresh fruits to everyone,” according to citation for here.
Kumari Venish Keisham, 15, from Imphal West district of Manipur, won the award for her excellence in the field of Art and Culture.
“She has won several competitions, including first position in the International Online Art Contest 2020 organised by Akm Kala Sangh, Pathankot, Punjab, India, second position in an international level Online Cartooning Competition organised by Art Affina in collaboration with Khalsa College of Education, Amritsar, and Renaissance Award in International Online Drawing Competition organised by Creative Canvas, 2020,” according to the citation.
Kameshwar Jagannath Waghmare, 14, from Nanded district of Maharashtra has been awarded for bravery.
“His is a story of courage and promptness. He saved two out of three boys from drowning in Manar river. They had gone swimming but could not estimate the depth of the water. Without caring for his own life, Kameshwar jumped into the river and pulled out two boys elder to him. He risked his own life but managed to save two lives,” his citation read.
Fifteen-year-old Rakesh Krishna K, one of the winners of Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar 2021, has invented the novel multi-purpose seed-sowing machine called ‘SEEDOGRAPHER’.
“This innovative machine enables easy and fast sowing of seeds at fixed distances. It is eco-friendly and promotes a dry sowing and lane system that saves 50 per cent water,” according to the citation for the awardee.
Archit Rahul Patil, 14, from Jalgaon district of Maharashtra has been given the award in the field of Innovation. He has developed a novel way to estimate the obstetric blood loss accurately.
Savita Kumari, 16, from Ranchi district of Jharkhand has been awarded for excellence in the field of sports.
“Coming from a humble background, with no special privileges, she has excelled in archery at every level. In 2018, she won a gold medal in the 3rd South Asian Archery Championship, Dhaka; a bronze medal in the 65th School Games Federation of India in 2020; and a silver medal in the 13th Jharkhand State Archery Championship in 2019. Girls like Savita are the pride of our nation,” her citation states.
Seven awards have been given in the field of art and culture, nine for innovation and five for scholastic achievements. Seven children have won in sports category, three felicitated for bravery and one has been honoured for her efforts in the field of social service.
The Government of India has been conferring the Bal Shakti Puraskar under the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar to children with exceptional abilities and outstanding achievements in the field of innovation, sports, arts and culture, social service, scholastic field, and bravery.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with the award winners on Monday. PTI