On the midnight of July 7, 2010, nearly 500 Naxalites attacked the insurgency-hit Dantewada district in Chhattisgarh, and their target was political leader Avadhesh Singh Gautam.
Gautam was sleeping in his bedroom while his son Abhijeet was playing in the same veranda where his uncle Sanjay along with a servant was taking rest. Suddenly, the bullets bombarded their otherwise silent house.
The Naxals forcefully opened the door and started shooting mercilessly. They shot dead Sanjay and the servant. Awadesh Singh’s 14-year old daughter, Anjali hastily spotted her crying brother who now had wounded feet. She picked him up and ran for her life.
And she did not stop despite warnings by the Naxals of shooting her.
And so, with the only hope of her brother’s life, she ran breathlessly across the village to her grandfather’s place. Because of her timely action, not just her brother but her father was also saved by the police and villagers.
Since then, Anjali has received a number of bravery awards including the Bravery President Award.
Anjali is indeed an inspiration for many.
Her story of valor and courage has now been included in class fifth’s syllabus of NCERT.
Clearly, her story is a classic lesson for children to be prepared for facing unexpected and unfortunate circumstances with immense bravery and presence of mind.