Thane: A 15-year-old tribal girl, who showed exemplary courage while saving her elder sister from the clutches of a panther in Sahapur taluka in Thane, has been selected for the 2012 National Bravery Awards. The young braveheart, Hali Raghunath Baraf, will receive the 'Veer Bapuji Gadhani Rashtriya Balveer Puraskar' at a function in New Delhi on January 26, from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
She is among the 22 children who will be honoured on the Republic Day. The girl works in a dairy at Jamnacha Pada near Nandgaon on the Adgaon-Tansa road in Sahapur, where she lives with her family. In 2012, Hali along with her sister had gone to collect firewood in the Tansa Sanctuary, when a panther attacked Shakuntala Bondge, and dragged her inside the jungle.
Horrified, Hali hurled huge stones at the panther, chasing it away and rescued her pregnant sister, the villagers said. In recognition of the courage shown by the teenager, her name was recommended by the district administration to the Centre for the award. Hali said she was "extremely happy" to learn about the award.