In an inspiring display of bravery, a 12-year-old boy has emerged a hero after guiding an ambulance across a bridge that had been completely flooded by incessant rain, making it impossible for the driver to distinguish between the road and the stream. The incident, which occurred near the Hirerayanakumpi village in Karnataka's Raichur district, earned the boy a bravery commendation on India's 73rd Independence Day.
The young boy, identified as Venkatesh, a Class Six student from a local government school, was reportedly playing on the banks of the stream, when the ambulance driver approached him for help.
Unfazed by the dangerous nature of the request, Venkatesh agreed to help and, in a video of the incident, filmed on a bystander's mobile phone, he can be seen determinedly wading through waist-deep water, even as he stumbles once or twice. Towards the end, shouts of encouragement can be heard as men gathered on the opposite bank cheer on Venkatesh .
At the end, when Venkatesh stumbles once more, a man rushes out to help him and pull him to one side as the ambulance drives out of the water and continues on to the hospital.
The ambulance was carrying six sick children and the body of a dead woman.
At least 60 people have been killed and seven lakh displaced across 22 districts in flood-ravaged Karnataka, where a further 15 people are still missing, as of August 14. The state government has set up more than 1,000 relief camps.
Nearly 60,000 houses have been destroyed. Chief Minster BS Yediyurappa has announced compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the family members of those who died.
More rainfall has been predicted for interior regions of northern Karnataka till Saturday, with the Belgavi district likely to receive moderate to heavy downpours in some regions.
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