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Three Indians, Thai get 2014 Jamnalal Bajaj awards
Friday November 28, 2014 10:56 PM, IANS

Four eminent Gandhians, including one from Thailand, were Friday conferred the prestigious 37th Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation Award for 2014, said foundation chairman Rahul Bajaj.

The Indian awardees are Chennupati Vidya, founder-president of Vasavya Mahila Mandali in Andhra Pradesh, Surendra Koulagi, founder of Janapada Seva Trust in Karnataka and Ram Kumar Singh, director and managing trustee, Suruchi Shikshan Vasahat Trust in Gujarat.

Sulak Sivaraksa, founder, International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB) Thailand, is the international recipient of the award for propounding Gandhian values, said Bajaj.

The awards were given away at a ceremony here by this year's Nobel Peace laureate from India, Kailash Satyarthi.

From this year, the prize money has been double to Rs.one million per awardee, from the Rs.500,000 earlier, to mark the 125th birth anniversary of the doyen of Indian industry, the late Jamnalal Bajaj.

The awards are given for outstanding contributions in the field of constructive work, development and welfare of women and children, application of science and technology for rural development, and the international award to an individual for contributions to promoting Gandhian values outside India, said Madhur Bajaj, foundation's trustee.

Chennupati, 80, of Vijayawada, daughter of two social reformers, had lived in Gandhiji's Sewagram Ashram as a teenager for two years and was deeply inspired by him.

In 1969, she founded the Vasavya Mahila Mandali emphasizing on attainment of holistic social, economic and political development of women and children especially in vulnerable situations.

Koulagi, 80, a follower of Gandhi, Vinoba Bhave and Jayprakash Narayan, had founded the Janapada Seva Trust in 1960, inspired by the Gandhian ideals of Sarvodaya (compassion).

The trust strives for social and economic elevation of the weaker sections with village community khadi production and marketing through its units, organsing the khadi weavers, producing natural dyed khadi fabric and garments.

Singh, 50, the head of Suruchi Shikshan Vasahat Trust in Bardoli, Surat trains rural youth in developing and adapting to technologies, which helped in achieving rural industrialization in over 50 villages in the area.

Sivaraksa, 81, has initiated several social, humanitarian, ecological and spiritual movements combining intellect with grass-roots organisation.

He has launched many rural development projects and NGOs dedicated to exploring alternative models of sustainable, traditionally rooted, and ethically and spiritually based development, working among the rural people and participating in inter-religious dialogues all over the world.




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