Karnataka youth, 37 others get bravery awards

A Karnataka youth is among 37 winners of national bravery awards declared ahead of Republic Day. Shaashwath Raj has won the Uttam Jeevan Raksha Padak and was the lone awardee from Karnataka.

Raj’s effort to save three drowning men who were offering prayers at Cauvery on Ugadi festival had fetched him the award. The incident took place in  Moolepetlu, 6 km from K R Nagar in Mysore on March 23, 2012.

The youth, who was then pursuing LLM through Karnataka State Open University, had gone to his village to celebrate the festival when the incident took place. Raj was waiting near the river bank when he heard the cries of people. He jumped into the Cauvery and saved three people, including a senior citizen.

  “For me saving three lives is more important than winning an Olympic medal”, Shaashwath Raj, who has competed in several state level swimming competitions, told Deccan Herald on Monday night.

 His father M T Puttarama, an Assistant Commissioner in the Commercial Taxes Department, is also proud of his son’s work and recognition.

According to a Union Home Ministry statement, two boys and a young man were selected for the Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Padak while six were selected for Uttam Jeevan Raksha Padak. Twenty-eight others, including one girl, were selected for Jeevan Raksha Padaks. Manipur’s M Khayingthei and Mizoram's Ramdinthara, who lost their lives while trying to save friends from drowning, are among three persons selected for 'Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Padak'.

 The third to win this award Soumya Ranjan Biswal from Odisha posthumously.
Apart from Raj, those who won the Uttam Jeevan Raksha Padak are Arjun Oli from Uttarakhand, Tarang Atulbhai Mistry from Gujarat, Mukesh Nishad from Chattisgarh, Vishnu M V from Kerala and Stripleaseman Mylliem from Meghalaya. The decoration of the award (medal, certificate signed by the Home Minister and demand draft for monetary allowance) is presented to the awardee in due course by the respective government of the state to which the awardee belongs.

 The monetary allowance is Rs 1 lakh, Rs 60,000 and Rs 40,000 to the Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Padak, Uttam Jeevan Raksha Padak and Jeevan Raksha Padak awardees respectively.

Chhattisgarh’s Akanksha Gaute, the lone girl in the list, was selected for “Jeevan Raksha Padak” award as she had saved herself as well as her father from four miscreants who were trying to rob them besides passing lewd comments on her.

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