By World News Bureau
Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL) Foundation – an initiative of Naveen and Shallu Jindal organized the first-ever Rashtriya Swayamsiddh Samman at Kamani Auditorium in the Capital recently to identify and facilitate so-called ordinary people at the grass root level who have done extraordinary work in various socio-economic sectors.
At least 9 Individuals and 10 Organizations received the prestigious award from Union Minister of State for Skill Development as well as Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Pratap Rudy, who was the Chief Guest. Also, present on the occasion were JSPL Chairperson Emeritus, Savitri Jindal, her son Naveen Jindal, who is Chairman of JSPL and his wife, Shallu Jindal.
The ten categories for the award included Women Empowerment, Entrepreneurship (start-ups), Education, Agriculture, Rural Development, Public Service / Social Service, Livelihood / Vocational Skills, Health, Innovation / Technology and Environment.
The main purpose of the award that carried a certificate of appreciation and a cash prize of Rs. 1 Lakh was to support ongoing work and enhance its impact on the ground.
Six other individuals/ organizations received a special Recognition certificate and a cash prize of Rs. 50,000.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister of State for Skill Development Rajiv Pratap Rudy, said that it is high time that people gave back what they have gained from the society and constantly work towards developing a better India.
According to him, initiatives like Rashtriya Swamsiddha Samman are meant to encourage the common man to think out of the box and make efforts to help the society in general.
Such exemplary work should be encouraged and promoted to produce socially-responsible entrepreneurs, he said.
“People at the grass root level rarely receive recognition for the good job done by them. It is this vacuum that JSPL Foundation strives to fill by initiating the Rashtriya Swayamsiddh Award to recognize and nurture talent at the grass-root level all over the country,” Shallu Jindal who happens to be the President of JSPL Foundation.
“The objective behind the Rashtriya Swayamsiddh Award is to bring out untold stories about the courage, determination, and will-power to bring about a change in the society of real-life heroes who rarely get recognition. The Rashtriya Swayamsiddh Award is an effort to salute such people and provide them so that others too can take inspiration from them ad form a chain of good human beings,” she added.
It is indeed heartening to note that 358 nominations were received for the Rashtriya Swayamsiddh Samman which is a barometer of the abundant talent in our country. Out of these 203 entries were finally wetted and participated in the final selection process.
United Nations Global Compact Network India (UNGCN), the Indian arm of United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), was the Knowledge Partner for the awards and was responsible for earmarking the parameters and finalizing the awardees.
The whole idea behind the rigorous selection process was to ensure that only the deserving get the award.
A maximum of 41 entries were received from Maharashtra, which overtook Jharkhand (40), Odisha (39) and Delhi (30). Other states to get the award included Uttar Pradesh (24), Rajasthan (20), Tamil Nadu (17), Telangana (19), Bihar (16), Haryana (16), Gujarat (15), Andhra Pradesh (12) and Uttarakhand (11). Nominations were received even from far-flung areas like Ladakh, Assam, Mizoram, and Tripura.
The process of shortlisting the winners was initially done by a regional Jury (from South, East, West and North) and finally approved by a National Jury in Bengaluru, Kolkata, Mumbai and Delhi. The Jury members comprised of experts from all walks of life who have made a mark for themselves in their respective fields.
The National Jury comprised Dr.Swaroop Raval an Educationist and Social Activist; Former Ambassador of India to Kazakhstan, Sweden and Latvia Ashok Sajjanhar; Principal Scientist, CSIR Institute of Genomics & Integrative Biology Anurag Aggarwal, Co-Founder, NextGen Abhishek Humbad and Shallu Jindal.
The Award was a part of the reward and recognition policy as well as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of JSPL Foundation – to felicitate people with exemplary Courage, Commitment, and Confidence against all odds and adversities.
The Awardees included Bhapkar Guruji, the Mountain Man from Maharashtra, who built a 40 km path across seven hills; Chewang Norphel- the Glacier Man of Ladakh -who made artificial glaciers and solved the water problem in the dry mountainous areas. Patel Genabhai Darghabhai, a farmer from Gujarat, who pioneered Pomegranate farming to Banaskantha as well as Gyanendra and Monica Purohit a couple from Indore, who convinced the government to open a model deaf and dumb friendly police station- the first in India, were among the other awardees.
Winners in the Organization category included Action for Protection of Wild Animals (APOWA) whose mangrove conservation project benefitted some 24,000 people across 42 villages in Odisha; Rescue Foundation, Maharashtra, which rescues and rehabilitates human trafficking victims from India, Bangladesh, and Nepal. Others included Rural Health Care Foundation that runs ten healthcare centers in West Bengal; and Sports Coaching Foundation (SCF) that identifies young talent (especially among underprivileged children) and grooms them to excel in sports and make a name for themselves in future.
The JSPL Foundation works with some of the most vulnerable and marginalized communities around the operational areas of the company, with the objective of bringing about a radical transformation in their lives and integrating them into the mainstream development process of the country through active intervention in social upliftment programs. The Foundation focuses its efforts in the main areas of Health, Education, Vocational Training, Women Empowerment, Livelihood, Livestock Care, Drinking Water and Sanitation, Youth and Sports and Infrastructure Development among others.