SALUTE TO HEROES
President Ram Nath Kovind presented Gallantry Awards and Distinguished Service Decorations in Defence Institute Ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Monday. The awards included two Kriti Chakras and 10 Shaurya Chakras. The gallantry awards are announced twice a year first on the occasion of Republic Day and then on Independence Day. The order of precedence of these awards is Param Vir Chakra, Ashok Chakra, Mahavir Chakra, Kirti Chakra, Vir Chakra and Shaurya chakra.
The President awarded the Vir Chakra to Group Captain Abhinandan Varthaman who in 2019, shot down a Pakistani F-16 fighter jet during a dogfight over the Line of Control (LOC) in the aftermath of the Balakot airstrike. Apart from Abhinandan Varthaman President Kovind accorded the Shaurya chakra (posthumously) to Naib Subedar Sombir for killing on A++ category terrorist during an operation in J&K. In addition, major Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal was also accorded the Shaurya Chakra (posthumously) for his rule in an operation that neutralized five terrorists and led to the recovery of 200 kg of explosive material. The list goes on and more information can be received by a revamped website that provides information about gallantry awards in India and their recipients since Independence.
Admiration for national heroes comes naturally to the citizenry. In order to disseminate the details of bravery acts and the life stories of these brave-hearts among the students, it has been proposed by the Ministry of Defence that school students may be motivated to do projects/activities based on gallantry awards. Students need to develop independent, critical thinking as opposed to installing passive admiration.
Awards are conferred for his or her valour and sacrifices for the country. It is an attempt to honor them for their contribution for serving their nation. However, it will be less to recognise their unparalleled match. We as Indians appreciate their valour and ultimate sacrifice. The country will always remain in that it to them.