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Three from Odisha get Rashtriya Swayamsiddh Samman

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New Delhi: Two organisations and one individual from Odisha were among the 21 recipients of Rashtriya Swayamsiddha Samman who were honoured at the second edition of the annual event for their exemplary work at a function held at New Delhi on Thursday.

In the individual category, the winner from Odisha is Vikash Das and in the organization category Maaghara Foundation Trust and We4You Charitable Trust from Odisha have been awarded. A budding social entrepreneur, Vikash Das is known for his innovations in democratizing rural non-farming sector and building sustainable impact enterprises (Entrepreneurship & Livelihood Category).

Similarly, Maaghara Foundation Trust, working to stop atrocities on women and restore their human rights with dignity; We4You Charitable Trust, educating the visually impaired through making and distributing Audio Books are the awardees from the state.

Besides, Lok Sabha MP Prasanna Patasani was bestowed with lifetime achievement award at the ceremony for his contribution in the field of literature, education and spirituality.

JSPL Foundation confers Rashtriya Swayamsiddha Samman to recognize and honour social innovators and change agents in India. This year, 12 individuals and nine Organisations from across sectors received the prestigious award at a glittering ceremony held at the Kamani Auditorium. The winners were conferred with the title of ‘Swayamsiddh Shri’ and were given a cash prize of Rs. 1 lakh, along with a certificate of appreciation to acknowledge and support their ongoing work.

The awards were given away by the Chief Guest, Chaudhary Birendra Singh, Union Minister of Steel. The Minister applauded the work of JSPL Foundation and the awardees for their societal contributions. Also present on the occasion were Savitri Jindal, Chairperson Emeritus, Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL), Naveen Jindal, Chairman, JSPL and Shallu Jindal, President, JSPL Foundation.

Speaking on the occasion, Naveen Jindal, Chairman – Jindal Steel & Power Limited, opined – “The courage, commitment and confidence of these individuals and organizations is an inspiration for all of us to overcome the challenges of life with grit and determination. I am sure these untold stories of courage will go a long way in inspiring others to work towards the holistic development of our great nation.”

Shallu Jindal, President, JSPL Foundation said, “The Rashtriya Swayamsiddh Samman is an initiative to recognise and acknowledge such people from the grassroot level, who rarely receive any appreciation for their good work; and provide them with a platform, so that others too can draw inspiration from them. The Second Edition of the Rashtriya Swayamsiddh Samman elicited an overwhelming response through direct entries, nominations and organic research from all over India, an indication of the rich talent in our country. The Juries had a daunting task to select the winners since all the shortlisted entries were inspirational and very deserving.”

The stories of the winners in the Individual category are truly inspirational. The special category award of Indomitable Courage was awarded to Shalini Saraswathi – a quadruple amputee who lost all her limbs owing to a rare bacterial infection; but overcame all adversities of life and emerged a winner. Today she is a writer, motivational speaker and a marathon runner. Some of the other winners include Uddhab Bharali from Assam, a grass-root innovator with a unique distinction of developing more than 85 engineering devices for different purposes in agriculture (Innovation & Technology category); Subhasini Mistry, an extraordinary woman from West Bengal who built a hospital by selling vegetables (Health); S Murugan, an auto driver from Kochi who rescues the poor and homeless from the streets (Public Service category); Akash Chaurasia a young farmer from Madhya Pradesh who has championed multi-layer farming and developed 42 agricultural models all across the country (Agriculture & Rural Development category)Gazi Jallauddin, the taxi driver from West Bengal, who runs two schools and an orphanage, today his school has a strength of 425 students.

Winners in the Organisation category include Gramin Samaj Kalyan Vikas Manch, Jharkhand whose TB Care & Control project that has benefited over 12000 individuals till date; Khamir Craft Resource Centre, Gujarat is working with 150 craft units in Kachchh region. Alombro Mayu Yaku Chi Amey Aroga (popularly called AAMYA) from Arunachal Pradesh, has promoted 20 farmer’s clubs to be organised into Producer Organisations for systematic marketing of the agri-horticulture products.

The awards have been conferred across 11 categories viz. Indomitable Courage; Women Empowerment; Agriculture &Rural Development; Innovation & Technology; Public Service; Health; Education; Sports; Art & Culture; Environment; and Entrepreneurship & Livelihood.