AP braveheart, Young Hyd mountaineer awarded Rashtriya Bal Puraskar- 2022

The awards were given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a virtual function held on the occasion of the National Girl Child Day.

By Sri Lakshmi Muttevi  Published on  24 Jan 2022 3:56 PM GMT
AP braveheart, Young Hyd mountaineer awarded Rashtriya Bal Puraskar- 2022

Gurugu Hima Priya from Andhra Pradesh and Telukunta Virat Chandra from Hyderabad were among the 29 children who were conferred with the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar-2022. The awards were given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a virtual event held on Monday.

The children were selected from all regions of the country for their exceptional achievements in innovation (7), social service (4), scholastic (1), sports (8), art and culture (6), and bravery (3). There are 15 boys and 14 girls among the awardees from 21 states and UTs. These children would have been part of the country's Republic Day parade but in view of the COVID-19 situation, it was not possible to organize a physical ceremony in New Delhi this year. In order to felicitate and motivate the exceptional works of these children, a function was held virtually on the occasion of the National Girl Child Day on 24 January.

Bravery recognised

Gurugu Hima Priya is from Ponnam village in Srikakulam district, Andhra Pradesh. She was given an award and a cheque of Rs. 1 lakh by the district collector, Shrikesh B. Lathakar, at Srikakulam on Monday. She was given the Bal Puraskar for her bravery during her stay at the military station in Jammu along with her father Satyanarayana who is in the Army.

On 10 February 2018, militants barged into the house where Hima Priya, her mother, and her two sisters were staying. "It was in the early morning when we heard huge bomb sounds and an alarm was when we realized it was militant's attack. As my father was on duty in Udhampur, we immediately locked ourselves in a room carrying some chilli powder for safety", said Hima Priya, who is currently studying class VII in Kendriya Vidyalaya, Pune.

Searching every room in the house, the militants threw a grenade which slipped through a part of the door, when her mother Padmavathi suffered multiple injuries. "For about six hours, we had to catch hold of the door while the militants tried to break it. At around 9.45 am, unable to see my mother losing blood and going unconscious, I opened the door and saw a militant standing in front of me. After I raised many questions to them, one of the militants pointed a gun at my head. With the only concern to save my mother who was almost dying, I asked them to leave my mother for immediate medical assistance", said Hima speaking to NewsMeter.

It was after hours of struggle by this brave girl, Hima Priya was able to escape from the place along with her family, after which security forces entered and killed the militants.

Youngest to scale Mt. Kilimanjaro

Telukunta Virat Chandra of Trimulgherry in Hyderabad was awarded the Bal Puraskar for becoming the youngest to scale Mount Kilimanjaro. The class III student of Gitanjali Devshala in Secunderabad scaled the highest mountain in South Africa in March 2021. It all started for Virat when his cousins, during a video call, showed him the mountains during their trek in Uttarakhand. He decided to go mountaineering. During his training with his coach Bharath, he used to run six-seven kilometers every day.

Virat's next target is to scale the highest mountain in Australia, Mount Kosciuszko. His ambition is to scale all the tallest mountains in the seven continents before he turns 10.

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