Meeting any child feels good. But meeting a brave child is incredible. iSikkim.com met 12 year old Bibek Sharma and his parents during their weeklong stay in the guest house of New Delhi’s Indian Council for Child Welfare. The twenty three National Bravery Award (NBA) winners have been invited for a week in the national capital along with their parents.
The NBA winners have their schedule beginning at 6.30 in the morning. The rest of the day is marked by visiting different places like Red Fort and Vijay Chowk around Delhi and meeting dignitaries. Bibek has met the CM of Delhi, Lt. Governor of Delhi, Defense minister, Vice-President, the Prime Minister and the President of the country apart from other dignitaries. “It’s like a dream, meeting all these people and going to all these places every day. It feels good”, says Master Bibek Sharma as he is known now.
Master Bibek Sharma from Sikkim saved a seven year old mentally challenged girl when she fell from the second floor of a five storey building on June 15 last year. The brave child, then just 11 years old, jumped to catch her into his arms. It could have hurt him seriously. Though, they both survived after minor injuries. When we asked him, “Can you do it again?” “I don’t know. Consciously, I don’t feel like being able to do it again. But it’s all about the moment. May be I can do something bigger”, says the child prodigy.
Bibek has his future plans chalked out. His elder sister is studying in a school in Andhra Pradesh run by Sai Baba Group of Institutions. Bibek is also going to join the school, 3000 KMs away from his parents. For him the full cost of education till Std. XII will be borne by the Government of India.
Bibek has two more siblings. Once Bibek leaves, his parents will have to live alone. They don’t regret. Bibek’s mother Bhumika Shamra who works in a government office says, “I don’t care about distance if it means a bright future for my kids.”
The NBA winners were awarded bravery medals on 22nd and the tour will come to an end on the Republic Day. Bibek, along with his parents and other NBA winners, will be participating in the Republic Day Parade. But the schedule even after the award ceremony has been busy.
After a daylong meeting with the who’s who of Indian politics, I asked him whether he would like to be a politician. A non hesitant voice childlike voice shrieks “No”. “I want to be a scientist. My role model is Albert Einstein.” Do you like politicians? “I like Indira Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi but I like cricketers more than politicians. Sachin Tendulkar is my favourite player. I also like film stars. Among actors I like Sunny Deol and among actresses I am a fan of Katrina. But I want to be a scientist.”
What do the parents of Bibek want him to be? “We don’t want to force our wishes upon him. We want him to do what he wishes”, says his mother. His father Bhakti Prasad Sharma adds, “He is very young to decide what he wants to be. Once he is through Std X he will be able to figure out what he wants to do. But it is up to him.”
Probably Master Bibek knows well what it means to be a child celebrity. “I want other children to do well in their life. I want them to cover great journeys, journeys even longer than mine.”
The journey of a brave child has begun. We wish him success in all his future endeavours.