Breaking News :

President confers Gandhi Peace Prize, PM congratulates winners


Agencies, New Delhi President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday conferred the Gandhi Peace Prize for 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 at a function held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here. Among those present on the occasion were Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He congratulated the winners of the Gandhi Peace Prize. "The prize is being conferred at a time when India marks the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. The freedom struggle became a mass movement due to the visionary efforts of the father of the nation,’’ Mr Modi said in a tweet, adding that Gandhi merged the streams of Jan Bhagidari and Jan Andolan. Speaking on the occasion, President said that Gandhian thinking, Gandhian modes of struggle and Gandhian ideals of achieving human liberty by conciliation had influenced some of the greatest of this age. "From Martin Luther King Junior in the United States to Nelson Mandela in South Africa and Lech Walesa in Poland, a dazzling galaxy of statespersons had learnt and borrowed from Gandhi. His thoughts are invaluable to any understanding of contemporary human history, and of the quest to redress oppression and inequity,’’ he said. He emphasised that the Mahatma is relevant to 21st century concerns as well. In his advocacy of sustainability, ecological sensitivity and living in harmony with nature, Gandhi anticipated some of the pressing challenges of our times. "The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) adopted by the United Nations are Gandhian philosophy in action. India’s pivotal role in the International Solar Alliance and its domestic Swachh Bharat Mission – aimed at the making modern sanitation universal– too are reflective of Gandhi’s ideas,” he said. For 2015, the Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari was given the award for 2015 for its contribution in Rural Development, Education and Development of natural resources. For 2016, the award was presented jointly to Akshaya Patra Foundation for its contribution in providing mid-day meals to millions of children across India and Sulabh International for its contribution in improving the condition of sanitation in India and emancipation of manual scavengers. For 2017, the award was conferred on Ekal Abhiyan Trust for its contribution in providing Education for Rural and Tribal Children in remote areas pan India, Rural Empowerment, Gender and Social Equality. For 2018, Japan's Yohei Sasakawa was given the prize for his contribution in Leprosy Eradication in India and across the world. The award, comprises cash award of Rs 1 crore, a citation in a scroll, a plaque and a traditional handicraft item. Referring to the contributions made by the award winners, the President said that the Vivekananda Centre, an awardee, has promoted self-help, sustainability and development throughout our country, especially in areas populated by tribal communities. It has built capacities in education and health, and in a sensitive and meaningful approach to rural development and harnessing of natural resources. The Akshaya Patra Foundation has advanced education and cognition by working to remove hunger and enhance nutrition. It has leveraged modern technology to provide quality meals to school children. The Sulabh International and its founder Dr Bindeshwar Pathak are sanitation pioneers, advocating the merits of sanitation and advocating toilets in days and years when not many others were. The Ekal Abhiyan Trust is helping 2.2 million children – 52 per cent of them girls – access education. Many of its initiatives benefit tribal communities. Yohei Sasakawa has been instrumental in helping the country win crucial battles in the war against leprosy, and to end stigma and discrimination, he said.

Opinions expressed in the comments are not reflective of Central Chronicle. Comments are moderated automatically.