Dishant Mehndiratta’s mother says she still does not know how her son summoned up the courage to knock the knife out of the hands of the intruder who was holding it to her neck as he demanded the valuables in the house. One second Dishant was begging the intruder to spare his mother, the next second, the knife was on the floor, and the mother and son had managed to overpower the man.
On Tuesday, Dishant was selected for the National Bravery Award-2015 by the Indian Council for Child Welfare. The 13-year-old Panchkula boy said he was elated and overwhelmed by the award.
“I feel encouraged with the appreciation I have received from the local administration,” said the teenager, a Class 8 student of Saupins School, Sector 9.
Dishant will receive a medal, certificate and cash prize by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of Republic Day function on January 26 in New Delhi. His name was recommended by the District Child Welfare Council for the award.
The incident happened on April 4, when Dishant was at his home in Sector 20 with his mother, Archana , 42, who works with Life Insurance Corporation and younger brother Ryaan, 8. His father, Ravinder, a chartered accountant, had just left for his office at Baddi, when an unidentified man visited the house around 2 pm. He wanted to see Ravinder.
He was invited in, and as Dishant began talking to him, Archana went inside and telephoned her husband. Ravinder spoke to the man on the phone, but did not know who he was and told him to come some other day. The man then asked to use the bathroom. When Archana was showing him the way to it, he took out a knife and put it on Archana’s neck.
“He threatened my children, and asked them to get all cash, valuables in the house, or else he would kill me. Dishant then fell down at his feet and began to plead with him for my safety. On the spur of the moment, Dishant stood up, and grabbed the knife from the accused and threw it away. Both of us suffered minor injuries, but we were able to raise the alarm, and get him arrested,” said Archana, recalling the incident.
While it has been over nine months since the incident occurred, Archana says that she is still surprised how a young child could manage to muster up the courage to fight the miscreant. “I tell him that I owe my life to him. But he says that it was God who gave him strength. The incident has made him confident and extremely cautious too,” said Archana.
Dishant said, “I would ask all the children to be brave, and not get bogged down by fear. Be brave, and God will help.”