New Delhi: On the eve of Independence Day this year, Sergeant Jai Prakash Shukla, Clerk General Duties, has been awarded Shaurya Chakra (Posthumous) for displaying exceptional courage in the face of severe adversity with disregard to his personal safety in attempting to rescue fellow citizens.
Barmer district of Rajasthan experienced incessant rains and flash floods from August 18 to 23 last year. On August 23, Sgt Shukla along with other Air Warriors of the unit proceeded to surrounding villages to assist the families of some civilians working at Air Force Station, Utarlai (Barmer).
While returning, some villagers requested the Air Warriors to rescue four persons perched on tree tops and struggling for life in the flood.
The task of rescuing the persons from the dangerously high levels of the turbulent flood waters was extremely challenging and evidently hazardous, requiring extraordinary courage for any person to under take such a risk.
While other members of the team did not dare to enter the torrential current of flood waters, Sgt Shukla — in the true tradition of a soldier — readily volunteered to rescue these persons though it involved a great risk to his own life.
He swam in the strong current in 20 feet deep flood waters with the single-minded purpose of rescuing the helpless persons who were under the threat of being washed away.
However, after swimming for about 100 metres, he got sucked down in the swirling water and could not extricate himself. His body was recovered after two days.
Sgt Shukla displayed extraordinary courage and valour in extreme circumstances and made the supreme sacrifice while trying to save fellow citizens.
For displaying exceptional courage in the face of severe adversity with utter disregard to his personal safety in attempting to rescue fellow citizens, Sergeant Jai Prakash Shukla has been awarded the Shaurya Chakra (Posthumous).
Shaurya Chakra is awarded for gallantry other than in the face of the enemy. This award may be granted to civilians or to military personnel and may be awarded posthumously.