Sunday, November 15, 2015

Like any other boy of his age, 10-year-old Siddesh Manjunath would walk to railway tracks near his house every day and wave at passing trains. This habit of the class IV boy from Avaregere village in Davanagere saved the life of around 850 passengers on March 15, this year as he noticed a nearly two-inch crack on the rail and stopped a passenger train by waving his red T-shirt.

On Saturday , Siddesh, son of an eatery shop owner, was the centre of attraction at the Children's Day award ceremony held at the Jawahar Bal bhavan in Cubbon Park. He was presented with the bravery award for the year 2015. Governor Vajubhai Vala honoured 33 children like Siddesh for their brave acts. Recalling the incident, Siddesh told STOI: "It was Sunday and after the breakfast around 10 am, I ran towards the railway tracks. One goods train passed followed by another slow moving passenger train.Then I heard some strange sound from the tracks. At that time, a single locomotive engine passed by and this time the sound was loud and clear. When I went near the rails, I saw a big gap."

Running back to his father's shop a little away from the tracks, Siddesh explained the problem to his father Manjunath. His father walked back to the track and was astonished at what he saw. "It was a risky gap.Then, some other villagers gathered around," Manjunath said.

Even as they were discussing what could be done, they heard the hooting of another train -it was Harihara-Chitradurga passenger train.When Siddesh asked everyone to do, "someone recalled the movie scene where the hero removes shirt and waves to the train to stop it", he said. Siddesh removed his red T-shirt and started running on the tracks and in the direction of the train."We all ran behind him and luckily , the loco pilot realized something was wrong and applied the brakes," Siddesh and Manjunath said.

Hubballi-based Siya Vamanasa Khode was also honoured for saving her 7-year-old younger brother. She recalled how she pulled her brother after he accidentally come in contact with live wire while playing. "There were many children on the terrace and men, who were doing some repairing work, had placed the metal ladder in upright position. Yash moved near the ladder and held it with his left hand.

I saw my brother shivering and others who were playing with us ran away. I realized he had come in contact with a wire and pulled him by holding his shirt."

KSCA gift: Free tickets to 25,000 kids to watch test match

Students soak in action on the opening day of the second Test between India and South Africa at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Saturday. The Karnataka State Cricket Association will give 25,000 kids (5,000 per day) the opportunity to watch the five-day match, free of cost.The KSCA has allotted the A and B upper stands for them. As many as 425 underprivileged kids from rural Bengaluru will also be part of this initiative

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