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11 Facts You Need To Know About The Param Vir Chakra

India’s highest military decoration, the Param Vir Chakra is awarded “for most conspicuous bravery or some daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self sacrifice, in the presence of the enemy, whether on land, at sea, or in the air”. While these words seem simple enough, most people don’t realise the burden they carry. Bravery in the face of odds isn’t something that can be taught. It’s something you are born with. And while the Indian Armed Forces have seen many a brave son make the supreme sacrifice, only 21 men have been considered worthy of the Param Vir Chakra. Here are some facts you have to know.

1. The Param Vir Chakra is not just handed out on a silver platter. It’s such a rare honour, that only 21 people have ever been awarded one. Two-thirds of them posthumously.

param vir chakra

2. Twenty of these recipients are from the Army and one from the Air Force. The Param Vir Chakra has never been awarded to anyone from the Navy, although all branches of the military are eligible for one.

nirmal jeet singh sekhon

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3. The Param Vir Chakra carries a cash allowance for awardees – a paltry sum of Rs 10,000 per month.

4. The Param Vir Chakra was designed by Swiss born Eva Yuonne Linda Maday-de-Maros whose mother was Hungarian and father, Russian. She married Vikram Khanolkar (later to be Major General) and changed her name to Savitri Bai Khanolankar when she moved to India.

savitri khanolkar

5. Savitri turned to Hindu mythology for inspiration for the design of the medal. She chose a simple purple ribbon and the motif of Rishi Dadhichi. The medal has four replicas of Indra’s Vajra, made from Dadhichi’s bones representing his supreme sacrifice, surrounding the national emblem.

6. Incidentally, her daughter’s brother-in-law, hence her son-in-law by relation, Major Somnath Sharma was the first recipient of the Param Vir Chakra.

major som nath sharma

7. The medal didn’t actually exist when Major Somnath Sharma laid down his life in Kashmir on 3 November, 1947. It was introduced on the day India became a Republic, on 26 January, 1950, by the President of India, but with effect from 15 August, 1947.

8. The medal is made of bronze, is 1-3/8-inch in radius and is suspended from a bar. The back of the medal has the words ‘Param Vir Chakra’ written in Hindi and English separated by the Lotus.

9. Only two Param Vir Chakra recipients are still on active duty; Subedar Yogendra Singh Yadav and Naib Subedar Sanjay Kumar.

All living PVC recipients

Shiv Aroor

10. Awardees have the right to use P.V.C. as a post-nominal abbreviation.

11. There’s a provision for the Param Vir Chakra being awarded for the second time, and for the awardee to wear a bar on the riband. For every Bar awarded, a replica of ‘Indra’s Vajra’ in miniature shall be added to the riband when worn alone. No one has received it twice yet.

 

 

Source – indiatimes .com

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