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Honouring service of permanent value rendered to society – MMFA Awards

Since  it was established in 1969 Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation (MMCF) has been committed to nurturing centres of excellence in heritage management, fine arts, the performing arts, education, ecological management, philanthropy, spirituality and sports.

Amongst the most important of these is providing recognition of excellence, through appreciation and acknowledgement of the achievement of individuals and their work.

Maharana Mewar Foundation Annual Scheme of Awards constitutes a major part of the activities of the Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation (MMCF), Udaipur. These Annual Awards were instituted in 1980 – 1981 to recognize college and school students, in Udaipur, for their academic and sporting achievements. The scope and spectrum of the awards has been steadily widening since 1981, the Annual Awards Ceremony not only applauds students but also honours international and national scholars for their work of permanent value to society. Many now play a pivotal role contributing to Mewar, India on the world stage.

On this occasion, Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation is honoring service of permanent value rendered to society. The ceremony starts with the presentation of certificates to students from schools and universities in Udaipur and across the State of Rajasthan. This is followed by the main Ceremony when the awardees gather on the dais to receive their awards from Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar of Udaipur, Chairman and Managing Trustee of Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation, Udaipur.

Maharana Mewar Foundation 35th Annual Award Distribution Ceremony – 2017 for this year will take place on Sunday, 5th March 2017 at The Manek Chowk, The City Palace, Udaipur.

Announcing the International and National Annual Awards 2017, Convener of the Ceremony Dr. Mayank Gupta said that the international award, instituted in 1996 and named after Col. James Tod is to honour a foreign national who has made a lasting contribution through his work of permanent value an understanding of the spirit and values of Udaipur and India. This year the award is given to Professor Sir Angus Deaton, USA.

Professor Sir Angus Deaton is Senior Scholar and the Dwight D. Eisenhower Professor of Economics and International Affairs Emeritus at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School where he taught for thirty years. He was the 2015 recipient of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel “for his analysis of consumption, poverty, and welfare.” He has studied many aspects of human wellbeing. In his work on poverty he has delved into data to try to improve measures, both for the world as a whole, and for India in particular. He has worked on health issues in the US, in particular with Anne Case on mortality in midlife, and in India, where he has worked with other researchers to address the needs of healthcare among both adults (in Rajasthan and in rural Udaipur) and children in India.

The National annual award, Haldighati Award, is given to an individual for work of permanent value that initiates an awakening in society through the medium of journalism, Mr. Praveen Swami, is a National Editor for Strategic and International Affairs at The Indian Express. He writes on regional security and intelligence issues. He is the author of India, Pakistan and the Secret Jihad: the Covert War in Jammu and Kashmir, 1947-2002, published by Routledge in January, 2007. In addition to his work as a journalist, Mr. Swami is currently working on a series of short stories on the conflict in Kashmir, as well as a book on the jihadist movement in India, both scheduled for publication in 2017.

Hakim Khan Sur Award instituted to honour work of permanent value for the cause of national integration is conferred to Mr. Shailesh Lodha widely recognized as one of the most distinctive and socially accepted poet-actors has made his mark in this complex landscape by integrating the nation and society through various media communications specifically stage and television. He plays an integral part in the world’s longest running daily comedy TV show ‘Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah’ both as an actor and sutradhaar. The USP of the show is mixing social messages with comedy.

Maharana Udai Singh Award instituted to honour work of permanent value in protecting and enriching the environment, hand-in-hand with future development is awarded to Dr. R. Vasudevan, the DEAN ECA & Professor of Department of Chemistry, Thiagarajar College of Engineering, Madurai, Tamil Nadu. He is a man on a mission to clean India of its plastic waste.  With the aim of changing the way plastic is treated in the country, in 2002 he innovated a technique of making roads using plastic waste. Soon after he patented the technology, when he could have made his fortune selling the technology to private companies, he chose to share his expertise with the Government of India for free. The technique was first used to make a road inside the campus of the Thiagarajar College of Engineering. This was just the beginning and soon after it was adopted by many towns and cities in various states across the country: in Kovilpatti, Salem, Wellington, Chennai, Puducherry, Hindpur (Andhra Pradesh), Kolkata, Goa, Shimla, Thiruvananthapuram, Vadakara, Calicut, Kothamangalam, Madurai, Jamshedpur and Kochi. In Tamil Nadu, the District Rural Development Agency laid 1,200 km of plastic roads in 29 districts across the State. He was awarded with Tech Icon of India, awarded by India Today Group by The Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Mr. Narendra Modi on 2nd October 2015.

Another National Award is Panna Dhai Award instituted to honour an individual who has rendered selfless service, rising beyond the call of duty   and  setting  an   example  to  society  of  permanent  value  through  sacrifice,  in  the  face   of  immense  hostility is conferred to Captain Radhika Menon. The first woman captain of the Indian Merchant Navy, Master of the oil products tanker Sampurna Swarajya. She received the 2016 International Maritime Organisation Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea for her role in the dramatic rescue of seven fishermen from a sinking fishing boat in tumultuous seas in the Bay of Bengal in June 2015. She is also the first woman in the world to receive the IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea. She was nominated by the Government of India, for rescuing of all seven fishermen from the fishing boat Durgamma, which was adrift following engine failure and loss of anchor in severe weather. Food and water had been washed away. The crew had survived at sea for 5 days without food by sucking ice from the fish hatch. Captain Menon immediately ordered a rescue operation, utilising the pilot ladder and with life jackets with buoys on standby. It took three arduous attempts in the lashing wind and rain and heavy swells before all seven weak and starving fishermen, aged from 15 to 50 years old, were brought to safety on board the ship. The National Maritime Day Celebrations (Central) Committee took pride in awarding the ‘NMD Gallantry at Sea Award’ to Capt. (Mrs.) Radhika Menon, Master, M.T. Sampurna Swarajya on 5th April 2016.

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