It was a day when children took centre stage. Seven bravery award winners and those who won prizes for excellence in academics and sports brought a festive atmosphere to Bal Bhavan on Monday, where Children's Day was celebrated.

Every one of the award winners had an adventure to narrate at the function organised by the Department of Women and Child Development.

Sindhushri B.A. enthusiastically talked of how she had caught a pickpocket while travelling by a city bus with her mother and handed them over to the police. T. Sumukhi narrated how she had caught a thief red-handed as he was snatching a woman's gold chain.

“He showed me a knife and I thought it was an artificial one. He beat and punched me,” said Sumukhi, saying that the ordeal went on for a good 15 minutes when she fought him off and managed to finally catch the attention of others. The thief was finally handed over to the police.

“I want to be an IAS officer,” said a wide-eyed Sindhushri, buoyed by the recognition she has won.

Speaking after presenting the awards to children, Karnataka Governor H.R. Bhardwaj said that youngsters need to look up to Jawaharlal Nehru as not just an endearing “chacha”, but a man who built modern India and a model parliamentarian.

Children's Day is a time for introspection, said Mr. Bhardwaj, when the younger generation at the crossroads of history.

“We should train and temper the younger generation to follow the lofty ideals of Nehru,” he said.