Gandhians Felicitated At The 36th Jamnalal Bajaj Awards in 2013 by President Shri Pranab Mukherjee

The Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation was established in 1977 in the memory of group founder, philanthropist and a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi, Jamnalal Bajaj. Currently headed by Rahul Bajaj, the objective of the foundation to host the awards every year, is to recognize and suitably reward the efforts of women and men who have dedicated their life to Gandhian Constructive Work and the ideals which Jamnalal Bajaj had cherished all his life, in India and internationally.

The Jamnalal Bajaj Awards 2013 were held on 15th November, 2013, with the Honorable President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee, as Chief Guest at the function. Speaking on the occasion, Shri Pranab Mukherjee said that if one goes through the life of Jamnalal Bajaj one would recognize the tremendous influence that Gandhiji had on him, and also that which he had on Gandhiji.

"Shri Jamanlal inspired his whole family to imbibe the Gandhian way of life. Gandhiji adopted Jamnalal Bajaj as his "fifth son" and it was Jamnalal Bajaj who persuaded Gandhiji to come and settle in Wardha," said Mukherjee.

The Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation felicitated 4 such individuals who selflessly dedicated themselves to the well-being of the society:
  • Shri G.V. Subba Rao was a recipient of the Jamnalal Bajaj Award 2013 for his Outstanding Contribution in the field of Constructive Work.
  • Smt. Snehlata Nath received an award for Application of Science and Technology for Rural Development.
  • Smt. Vidhya Das was a recipient of the Award for Development and Welfare of Women and Children, and
  • Mr. Jean-Marie Muller received an International Award for Promoting Gandhian Values outside India.

Smt. Vidhya Das - Outstanding Contribution in Development and Welfare of Women and Children and-or Gandhian Constructive Work by Women Workers
Born on 22 May, 1959, Smt. Vidhya Das, through Agragamayee, has been working, since over 25 years, in the areas of policy advocacy, socio-economic and human rights of the tribal people. She has also contributed deeply to natural resource management, formal and non-formal education, awareness generation and skill development involving tribal people's participation and mobilization in the backward areas of Kalahandi, Bolangir, Koraput, Rayagada districts of Odisha. Agragamee is known for its unequivocal stand for the rights and justice of the tribal, dalit and other underprivileged and exploited communities.

Through her close involvement, Smt. Vidhya Das has been able to mobilize and inspire tribal women to undertake a sustained and systematic struggle on the demand for rights over minor forest produce, which eventually led to a policy change at the State level, ensuring that the rights for minor forest produce were handed to the Panchayats in all the tribal areas of the State. Smt. Vidya Das's persistent and painstaking efforts have encouraged around 5000 tribal women of 200 villages, across 5 districts to organize groups to address issues of discrimination, exploitation, corruption and violation of basic human rights.

5000 tribal girls and boys now have access to primary education and higher education due to the efforts in implementing non-formal education by Smt. Vidhya Das and her organization. 600 tribal girls from villages with zero literacy have been able to have qualitative primary education from the Agragamayee Schools. The models of language and methodology of teaching mathematics developed by her are being followed in different primary schools via various voluntary organizations in the State.

For over twenty five years Smt. Vidhya Das has directed her energy and efforts so as to enable the tribal and rural women and folks to attain better life and livelihood with dignity.

Mr. Jean-Marie Muller - Outstanding Contribution in Promotion of Gandhian Values Outside India by Individuals other than Indian Citizens
In 1972, Mr. Jean-Marie Muller took the initiative to create the MAN - Non-Violent Alternative Movement, with a mission to put forward the specific contribution of non-violence in the everyday life, education and social and political struggles. MAN promotes the principles and the methods of non-violent strategy, to support a positive resolution of the inter-personal, inter-community or international conflicts. Mr. Muller reaffirms his conviction that human kind will not be able to meet the challenges that the world presents today if it does not follow Gandhi's intutions.

A professor of philosophy until 1970, Mr. Jean-Marie Muller left teaching to dedicate himself full time to the study of non-violence and its promulgation in his writings, demonstrations and speaking. He is the key spokes person for MAN.

In June 1970, Mr. Jean-Marie Muller undertook a two-week hunger strike with Jean Desbois to protest the sale of sixteen Mirage military planes to the Brazilian military regime. This action had a big impact on public opinion and received the support of numerous movements and celebrities. He has participated in many meetings and seminars, delivered lectures and has facilitated many training sessions throughout the world to promote non-violence.

Mr. Jean-Marie Muller was introduced to non-violence by Lanza del Vasto. He met Loknayak Jayaprakash Narayan during his visit to India in 1977. In 2001, Mr. Jean-Marie Muller travelled again to India to visit Gandhi's Ashram in Ahmedabad. In 40 years Mr. Jean-Marie Muller has considerably contributed to the history on non-violence through his books on the Mahatma, as well as his many lectures on Gandhi throughout the world.

The objective of the Jamnalal Bajaj awards is to recognize and suitably reward the efforts of women and men who have dedicated their life to Gandhian Constructive Work and the ideals which Jamnalal Bajaj had cherished all his life. The foundation currently headed by Rahul Bajaj, was established in 1977, in the memory of group founder, philanthropist and a close associate of Mahatma GandhiFind Article, Jamnalal Bajaj.

Author: Mehul Teli
Source: Free Articles from