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12-Year-Old Boy Risks Life to Guide Ambulance Across Flooded Bridge in Karnataka

The boy has been recommended for the state's bravery award.

by Shamani Joshi
16 August 2019, 10:16am

Photo: Screenshot of a video posted by The New Indian Express

As India continues to struggle through one of its worst floods in living memory, an act of bravery in Karnataka gives us something to smile about.

Twelve-year-old Venkatesh was playing with his friends in the Hirerayanakumpi village of Raichur district in Karnataka when an ambulance carrying six children was stopped at a submerged bridge. The driver asked the group of boys to help out, and Venkatesh bravely took the lead. In a video that's now gone viral, the boy can be seen trying to maintain his footing as he wades through neck-deep water while guiding the ambulance across the flooded bridge.

“I really don’t know if what I did was an act of bravery or not. I just wanted to help the driver,” the daring kid told the New Indian Express.

The boy is a class VI student at a local government school and was staying at a rehabilitation centre in the Shavantgera village at the time of the incident. He is the son of a farmer and according to his elder brother, he'd often play by the river with friends. His brother also recalled an earlier incident in which 10-year-old Venkatesh rescued a woman who'd fallen into the stream.

Not only has the news of the boy’s bravery become news across the country, but awards and accolades have began pouring in. The Raichur administration even held a felicitation ceremony for him on Independence Day, which saw a senior Indian Administrative Services officer ask the Women and Child Welfare Department to recommend Venkatesh for a bravery award.

As the letter says: "I am of the opinion that the above young student is entitled to be encouraged and honoured for his act of bravery and wish to recommend for considering and including his name in the list of bravery awards in this year."

While water levels are now receding across Karnataka and Maharashtra, the region remains on red alert, with heavy rainfall expected to continue.

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