Godfrey Phillips Bravery Awards Celebrate the Brave Hearts

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Godfrey Phillips Bravery Award Winners Felicitated by Lt. General S H Kulkarni, VSM**, General Officer Commanding, 21 Corps & Mrs. Pravina Kulkarni, President, AWWA, Bhopal

INDIACSR News Network

BHOPAL: Godfrey Phillips Bravery, a corporate social responsibility initiative of Godfrey Phillips India, on 20 September 2012 later evening, honored thirteen brave people from Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat and Rajasthan. The Awards were presented by Lt. General S H Kulkarni, VSM**, General Officer Commanding, 21 Corps and Mrs. Pravina Kulkarni, President, Army Wives Welfare Association, Bhopal.

Mr. Harmanjit Singh, General Secretary, Godfrey Phillips Bravery Awards, said “My best wishes to all our winners and nominees. In our journey of over 20 years to find and bring to attention the acts of bravery by common people, we have awarded over 1200 bravehearts.  Our award winners and nominees are the true mark of the impact; our initiative has had since its inception in 1990.  We hope that these stories will encourage more people to imbibe the spirit of bravery in their everyday life.”

He added, “With our two initiatives, Godfrey Phillips Bravery Awards and Amodini, we have been working to promote the values of courage and empowerment in society. We have till date empowered over 20,000 women directly and hope to increase this number manifold in the years to come.”

Kumari Anjali Singh Gautam of Chhattisgarh was honored with Physical Bravery Special Award for saving her 12 year old brother from 200-250 naxalites who entered her village.

Some 10-12 men broke the room’s door and entered, firing indiscriminately. The Naxals shot her brother in leg and he fell, Anjali picked and swung him up on shoulders and ran. She reached her grandfather’s house, around 300 meters away and admitted her brother in hospital. Anjali was also honored with the National Bravery Award on Republic Day 2012.

The Special Social Bravery Award was presented to Jyoti Yadav of Rajasthan who at a young age of 12 undertook the responsibility to empower widows and created inroads for their employment. With the help of her head teacher and village panchayat head, she visited families of these widows and convinced them to allow widows to come out of their houses and work. Despite resentment and humiliation, she continued her efforts and convinced around 100 widows, including her mother. These women are now employed in aganwadis and some have become teachers in schools.  For her untiring efforts against injustice to widows in Rajasthan, Kum. Jyoti Yadav of Rajasthan is awarded the Social Bravery Special Award of the 21st Godfrey Phillips Bravery Awards.

The Physical Bravery Award was awarded to Nisar Khan, a truck driver who saved many lives.  During the transfer of petrol at a petrol pump, the tanker caught fire. It was half filled up with petrol. Undeterred Nisar Khan mustered courage and drove the tanker away from petrol pump to more than 4 kms distance. While he was taking the tanker away, it caught fire. The tyres started burning too. But, brave Nisar continued to drive on with full passion until he reached a safe place to halt. For his exemplary courage, sense of duty and selfless service, Shri Nisar Khan of Rajasthan is awarded the Physical Bravery Award of the 21st Godfrey Phillips Bravery Awards.

Another award for Special Physical Bravery was awarded to Reshma Rangrez of Gujarat for saving society from a terror attack.  Reshma’s husband, Ahmed, was planning a series of blasts in Ahmedabad and wanted to create panic during Jagannath Yatra. On identifying Ahmed’s plan, she quietly moved out of her house and alerted the neighbors and the police. Later Ahmed was arrested with live cartridges, a double barrel gun and seven crude bombs were recovered from him. For her exemplary courage, love for the nation and selfless service Shri Reshma Rangrez of Gujarat is awarded the Physical Bravery Special Award of the 21st Godfrey Phillips Bravery Awards.

Kanubhai Hansmukhbhai Tailor of Gujarat who lost his legs to polio was awarded with Social Bravery Award. Kanubhai has dedicated himself to empowering the physically challenged. He set up the Disable Welfare Trust of India in 1991 to provide free education and training to challenged persons from poor families. He also set up a school in 10 rooms allotted by Surat Municipal Corporation. The school had 118 challenged children in first month itself, all from very poor families. The number rose to 400 by 2005. In 2006, Surat Municipal Corporation allotted him land and Kanubhai built a Higher Secondary school at the site. For his exemplary work for the education of disabled, Kanubhai Hansmukhbhai Tailor of Gujarat is awarded the Social Bravery Award of the 21st Godfrey Phillips Bravery Awards.

The Mind of Steel Award is conferred upon Dr. Kusum Lata Bhandari, an Associate Professor in Department of Political Science, who has dedicated her life for the welfare of disabled and the blind. She has been conducting free vocational training courses for the differently abled. She was one amongst 15 persons chosen jointly by IBN7 and Bajaj Allianz team as super-Idols for their dedicated, noble and humanitarian work in different fields.

Additionally other recipient of this award is Abdul Samad. He is a real life example of how bravery can beat all odds. His achievements in the sports arena have defied his disabilities of being a speech and hearing impaired. He plays hockey as a goalkeeper and excels in the game. He started playing the game at the age of 10 years. He shifted to the Sports Authority of India, where he stayed for five years before moving on to the MP Academy to further hone his skills. For his dedication and will to overcome disabilities, Abdul Samad of Madhya Pradesh is awarded the Mind of Steel Special Award of the 21st Godfrey Phillips Bravery Awards.

Chanda Shroff is the first Indian to win the Rolex Award for Enterprise for “empowering rural women” in Kutch region of Gujarat. She founded Shrujan, an NGO which has turned women of 120 villages in the backward Kutch and Banaskantha districts into entrepreneurs engaged in embroidery work. Under her guidance, Shrujan has worked with 22,000 women from diverse ethnic backgrounds, and nearly 120 villages in Kutch have been covered. Women work at their homes and earn Rs 15 per hour. Currently Shrujan has the annual revenue of about US$700,000.

For her efforts towards empowering rural women, Shri Chanda Shroff of Gujarat is awarded the Amodini Award of the 21st Godfrey Phillips Bravery Awards.

Godfrey Phillips India instituted the Godfrey Phillips Bravery Awards in 1990. These Awards bring to light the uncommon spirit of the common man, and gives recognition to extraordinary yet little known acts of physical valor, social service and humanitarian deeds. The purpose of the Godfrey Phillips Bravery Awards is to instill amongst people the culture of selfless action. With its two initiatives, Godfrey Phillips Bravery Awards and Amodini, over 1,200 bravehearts have been honored and over 7000 women empowered directly.

Since inception in 1990, these awards have grown to encompass 20 states – Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Uttaranchal, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, West Bengal, Goa, Himachal Pradesh and the recent addition of Jammu Kashmir, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

The five zone awards will be followed by the National Awards, which will take place in Delhi.

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