Jawahar Nagar Mandi - 175001
Gallantry Award 2021  

Brave’ is just not a quality

“Our flag does not fly because the wind moves, it flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it”. The sacrifice of a soldier is immense, it is incomparable to any kind of jewel or assests. As an acknowledgement of this sacrifice our Indian government honour them with gallantry awards. These special awards are given to our honourable soldiers twice a year, first one on Republic Day and second time on Independence Day.

Gallantry Awards are of two types first one is gallantry in the face of enemy and second gallantry other than in face of enemy. These are than categorised as Param Vir Chakra, Mahavir Chakra and Vir Chakra in the first category and the second category consists of Ashok Chakra, Kirti Chakra and Shaurya Chakra.

Now let me tell you the story of a great person I came to know about and have started to admire a lot too these days and he has become my source of inspiration these days. I would like to narrate the story of Late Shri Vishnu Shankar Rai, who was also awarded the president’s gallantry posthumously. For whom nation always stood first. He died at a young age of 32 as a martyr. He had two very young kids whom he left behind but his sons were never saddened by this fact that their brave father chose nation first, they were always proud of their father.

In early 70s,our country had criminals in the form of dacoits mostly(if you remember Sherni or Sholay). Kanpur, one of the most famousCity of UP was not urbanised yet as other cities in UP or the country. Noor Alamwas a Famous and well feared dacoit in Kanpur City. He used to kill people and then snatch their valuables and he was famous for this kind of loot. Shri LateVishnu Shankar Rai is Grand-Father of my mother but of course none of us had the honour to meet him. He was posted as SHO Colonelganj in Kanpur at that time. At the age of 32, he had a reputation of a being a bold officer of UP Police Force or in youngsters language he had ‘swag’. He had his share of finishing an entire gang of criminals single-handedly and to name a few he finished off Mahadevi Mali Gang, solved the Shankargah Murder Mystery and finished Munni Lal Khatik Gang. He was then promoted and made incharge of heading the robbery squad of Kanpur zone for his great efforts and achievements. In 1973, the thuggery of Noor Alam had reached it’s peak and there was a huge pressure on the police force toapprehend him. Shri Vishnu Shankar Rai was called in to lead the operation. From the information he received he found out that Noor Alam was in hiding in Lucknow, which is about 80km away from Kanpur. It was from a source that Noor Alam would be around Lalbagh crossing in Lucknow, during the day time. It was quite a chilly morning of 23rd January,1974 and he was near the Lalbagh crossing Lucknow, making rounds in the pursuit of the dacoits. In about an hour a white ambassador stops around crossing and the sources identifies Noor Alam. Shri Vishnu Shankar Rai Opens fire on the dacoits sitting in the car, as they were heavily loaded with arms. In a massive shootout 3 bullets hits Shri Vishnu Shankar Rai, two across the chest and one near the heart. He could see, Noor Alam was still alive and was almost escaping. Noor Alamsomehow, manages to take the driver seat and starts the ignition. Shri Vishnu Shankar Rai despite being shot, runs behind the car and shoots him in the head and Noor Alam dies almost instantly. Because of the heavy bleeding, Shri Vishnu Shankar Rai is rushed to the hospital where he dies, two days after the incident. When he regained his consciousness in that span of two days he asked one of the pupil about Noor Alam in reply he heard that Noor Alam was killed and once again he questioned that person, that by whose bullet Noor Alam was killed the person answered that the bullet which hit Noor Alam was his, he almost died instantly after hearing this. Acknowledging his bravery, he was given the President’s gallantry award in 1975 and Late Shri Vidyawati, wife of Late Shri Vishnu Shankar Rai received the award. UP government in 1980 created a memorial in his honour, which is a statue, bearing his name and his heroic actions. The statue still stands in the village of Narayanpur. I am proud to even have a little connection to great man like him.

I am grateful to every single soldier who protects us with their lives and I know I won’t be able to repay this kind of debt in my lifetime. I pray for the souls of soldiers who lost their lives and condolences to their friends and family. JAI HIND!

Stuti (12th Commerce) 
DAV CPS, Mandi, HP

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Jawahar Nagar, Mandi - 175001
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