An award in recognition of some good social service or contribution to the society is not an end itself but puts up greater responsibility on individuals, says the Karnataka State ‘Jeeva Rakshak Prashasti’ winner Rajesh Gopalrao Khatavkar of Belagavi city.
A few months ago, two senior citizens were seriously injured in an accident on Fort Road in the city. They were hit by a motorbike rider from the rear. They fell down in a pool of blood oozing out from head injuries and injuries in other parts of their body. Mr. Khatavkar, who was passing by, immediately shifted them to the district government hospital and ensured quick medical help instead of calling and waiting for an ambulance to arrive. The injured victims survived the accident.
But, what followed was days of unexpected ordeal with the police often calling him in connection with the accident. Finally, his name was recommended to the district administration for the award, which was presented to him on the occasion of Republic Day by Deputy Commissioner N. Jayaram.
Khatavkar later said that “An award in recognition of social service or contribution to society is not an end in itself. Instead, it implies a greater responsibility on the part of the recipient,”
Mr. Khatavkar, an engineer and a social activist, is also the winner of the Godfrey Philips National Bravery Award. He was recently conferred with the CID Gallantary Award that carried a cash prize of Rs. 1 lakh, a gold medal and a memento. He has received several awards for his acts of bravery, including stopping a bank robbery a few years ago.