Shri Kapil Sibal, Honourable Minister for Communications & IT gave away the awards as Chief Guest along with Deepti Naval, Renowned Artist
Smt. Rajashree Birla, Chairperson, Aditya Birla Centre for Community Initiatives and Rural Development honoured with Social Lifetime Achievement Award
INDIACSR News Network
NEW DELHI: Godfrey Phillips Bravery, a CSR initiative of Godfrey Phillips India, today honoured 17 brave hearts from across the nation. The Awards were presented by Mr Kapil Sibal, Honourable Minister for Communications & IT, and renowned artist, Deepti Naval.
Mrs. Premlata Agarwal, oldest Indian woman mountaineer to scale Mt. Everest was also present as a special guest at the awards.
Mrs. Rajashree Birla, Chairperson, Aditya Birla Centre for Community and Rural Development was honoured with the prestigious Social Lifetime Achievement Award for her exemplary contribution to inclusive growth and Dr. Shantha Sinha, Chairperson of NCPCR for her pioneering work on child right with a Special Social Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr Sunitha Krishnan, Prajwala also won recognition for her rehabilitation of trafficked women and children with the Amodini Award.
To commemorate 20 years of Bravery Awards, Godfrey Phillips India also launched ‘A BILLION BRAVEHEARTS’. The book pays homage to the inspiring extraordinariness of the seemingly ordinary people, many of whom are recognised and awarded by Godfrey Phillips Bravery. The book has been published by Penguin Enterprises and authored by Mr. Sandipan Deb, a renowned journalist and a writer.
Mr. K.K. Modi, President, Godfrey Phillips India Ltd, stated, “When we started the Bravery Awards over 20 years ago, I had perhaps underestimated the power of our own idea. That it has grown into such powerful movement, that it has made such a huge difference to other people’s lives and to society as a whole was beyond my dreams…”
Addressing the award ceremony, Ms. Nita Kapoor, Executive Vice President Marketing & Corporate Affairs, Godfrey Phillips India said “Over the 20 years, our CSR initiative Godfrey Phillips Bravery, have always stood for courage, compassion in thought and action”. She added, “The value of courage and bravery are of significance to the nation is proven by our popularity in the social media. In less than two years we have a 12 lac plus strong community on our Facebook page. Bravery awards today stands for ‘Conscience in Action’. It is a clarion call for each one of us to ‘do something’. Bravery propagates the role of the common citizen through ‘I can be Brave too, I can make a change” Our initiative Amodini is a conviction – of the role that women must play in ensuring that India fulfills its true potential. We have till date empowered over 22,000 women directly and we intend to expand our program to benefit as many women as possible because we believe only those who are empowered, have their voice due to financial freedom can also choose and be courageous in their choices.”
Details of the winners:
The winners of the Godfrey Phillips Bravery National Awards 2013 were as follows:
The Physical Bravery National Award was presented to Ms. Reshma Rangrez for sacrificing her own happiness and family life to save the lives of many citizens. Ms. Rangrez put her family at stake by informing the police about her husband’s terrorist activities and the serial bombing he was plotting in Ahmedabad and during Jagannath Yatra.
Mr. Vadivelu, P. Kalaimani, V. Madan, Uday Moorthy and K. Gopi from Tamil Nadu saved lives of 27 sailors who were trapped in their ship, stranded due to the cyclone Neelam in October 2012. The five gallant men from Tamil Nadu, without a thought to their own safety, rescued the sailors by swimming to the ship in the cyclone hit seas. For the brave and selfless act, the five men were awarded the Physical Bravery National Award.
13-year-old Master Sagar Kashyap, showed exemplary courage by saving lives of three teenage kids drowning in the Agra canal. He kept going back for each child till he had managed to save three of the kids. He lost one life in spite of pulling him to the bank as the boy fell back into the canal while Sagar was rescuing the rest. He was awarded the Special Physical Bravery at the Godfrey Phillips Bravery National Awards 2013.
Acts of Social Courage acknowledges the role of people who adopt a strong stance and oppose social evils. This year, the Social Act of Courage National Award went to Ms. Jamuna Tudu, a 32 year old tribal lady, who is known as Lady Tarzan of the Muturkham forests of Jharkhand. She formed Van Suraksha Samiti with the villagers, relentlessly fought with the forest mafia and created awareness on deforestation and poaching.
Social Act of Courage National Award was presented to Ms. Rehana Rehman from Uttar Pradesh for empowering Muslim women in and around her village Majara, Abdullahpur and Mansoorpur. She shed her purdah 2 decades ago and decided to empower women from illiteracy and backwardness by starting a school. Today hundreds of women owe their empowerment to her.
Another recipient of the Social Act of Courage Award was Mr Kanubhai Hasmukhbhai Tailor. Physically challenged due to a polio attack in childhood, he decided early on in his life to be of service to physically challenged people. He set up the Disable Welfare Trust of India in 1991 to provide free education and training to challenged people from poor families. He runs a school which educates over 400 challenged children today.
The Social Act of Courage Special Award was awarded to Ms. Simmy Malhotra from Delhi, for dedicating her life to care, support and advocacy for right of street animals. Her ‘Help and Heal Animal Trust’ has undertaken many programmes and initiatives for abandoned and stray dogs and also helps them find a loving abode. These programmes include sterilization of stray dogs, treatment of injured and abandoned dogs and anti-rabies vaccination camps. It also has a well equipped ‘Home and Away’ Boarding Kennels which provides security and care for pets.
Late Mr Barun Biswas from West Bengal was posthumously awarded the Mind of Steel Award at the Godfrey Phillips Bravery National Awards. Sutia, a small village in North 24-Pargana District of West Bengal had a notorious criminal Sushanta Chowdhury running his reign of terror with gang rapes, extortion, murders regularly to exploit the villagers. Barun stood up in protest and collected the villagers in a campaign against it. He managed to get the criminals arrested however; on 4 July 2012 he was shot dead. It had been masterminded by the criminals who were still in jail. As a tribute to his courage, hundreds of women, armed with brooms and bamboo sticks protested against the murder of the schoolteacher.
Red Brigade, a mission formed by 15 girls aged between 16-25 years who have been victims of sexual abuse was felicitated with the Mind of Steel Special Award. The organization formed two years back, has been instrumental in saving over 15 girls from attempted rape. They publicly remonstrate men on sexual harassment, create awareness amongst women to raise their voices against such behavior which they believe has also successfully helped deter the men from such behavior in future.
The Special Amodini Award was conferred on Ms. Nilima Mishra, for her work through ‘Bhagini Nivedita Gramin Vigyan Niketan (BNGVN)’. The organization is empowering women through more than 2000 SHGs in Bahadarpur, Shirsode and Mahalpur regions. Nilima also initiated “Sakhi”, a women entrepreneurs group. The women retail their food products through various outlets in four districts. More than 200 women are involved in this business. Nilima also has taken local made quilts by women to the international market and now the women have regular income from this.
The Amodini Award was conferred on Dr. Sunitha Krishnan. Dr Sunitha, B.Sc., MSW (Psychiatric Social Work) and Ph.D. (Social Work) is the chief functionary and co-founder of Prajwala, an institution that assists and empowers trafficked women and children. The organisation, so far, has rescued more than 3200 victims. Prajwala’s “second-generation” prevention program operates in 17 transition centers and over 5,000 children have benefited from the second generation prevention programme.Dr. Krishnan and her staff train survivors in carpentry, welding, printing, masonry and housekeeping. The organization also helps pay for the education of 5000 children infected with HIV/AIDS in Hyderabad. Dr. Sunitha is also collaborating on policies and laws with various governments.
The Special Social Lifetime Achievement Award was conferred on Dr. Shantha Sinha, Chairperson of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) is known for her pioneering work on the issue of child rights. She was also the founder member of MV Foundation, based in Andhra Pradesh which has withdrawn over 4,00,000 children from work and mainstreamed them into schools. MV Foundation’s work in setting up residential bridge courses for rescued child laborers and preparing them for formal schooling into an age-appropriate class has been widely acknowledged and has informed education policies in India and other developing countries.
The Social Lifetime Achievement Award, the most prestigious of the awards was presented to Mrs. Rajashree Birla, Chairperson of the Aditya Birla Centre for Community Initiative and Rural Development. She was recognized for exemplary contribution to inclusive growth through the Aditya Birla’s CSR body. Under her guidance, the Aditya Birla Centre for Community Initiative and Rural Development has undertaken significantly large community development initiatives such as providing the rural youth with a chance to shape their future through sustainable employment schemes, education and training, and women empowerment programmes. Focused on the rural poor, it has a presence in 3,000 villages and reaches out to 7 million people annually.
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 22,000 women empowered directly.
Since inception in 1990, these awards have grown to encompass 20 states – Odisha, 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.