Agencies, New Delhi
President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday conferred gallantry awards on the armed forces personnel for displaying conspicuous bravery, indomitable courage and utmost devotion to duty at a defence investiture ceremony held here at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.
Three personnel were awarded with the Kirti Chakra, India’s second highest military decoration, for their conspicuous gallantry, while 15 personnel were conferred with Shaurya Chakra. Among the vouchsafed, two Kirti Chakras and one Shaurya Chakra were given posthumously.
Army chief, General Bipin Rawat, was also conferred with Param Vishisht Sewa Medal among 14 other armed force personnel for their distinguished service of the most exceptional order.
Among the dignitaries present were the Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and others like LK Advani and Dr Harsh Vardhan.
Shaurya Chakra conferree Captain P Rajkumar, who had saved life of a fisherman, adrift at sea during the Ockhi cyclone storm, said it is a special and extremely proud moment for him to receive an award from the Supreme Commander of our forces.
Responding to a question whether the fisherman knew that his saviour was being awarded, Captain said, “No, not as of now but would surely know after the newspapers show me receiving the award for this act.”
Gunner Ranjit Singh and Sapper Mahesh HN both from Rashtriya Rifles who were also awarded the Shaurya Chakra for their act of bravery beyond the call of duty told UNI they feel extremely honoured to receive such a prestigious award.
Gallantry awards were instituted by the Government of India on 26th January 1950 which were deemed to have effect from the 15th of August 1947. Although awards are announced twice a year — first on the occasion of the Republic Day and then on the occasion of the Independence Day — but some of the Gallantry awards along with some other Defence Distinguished Service awards are conferred to the awardees/Next-of-Kins (NoKs) by the President at the Defence Investiture Ceremony held every year at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.