Rashtriya Swayamsiddh Samman, a unique initiative by JSPL Foundation to recognize and honour social innovators and change agents across the country, was conferred upon 17 individuals and ten organisations.
Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Law & Justice and Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India presented the award in a function held on 19th December 2019 at New Delhi in the presence of Savitri Jindal, Chairperson Emeritus, Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL), Naveen Jindal, Chairman, JSPL and Shallu Jindal, Chairperson, JSPL Foundation, Padma Vibhushan Dr Raghunath Mahapatra, Member of Parliament and Aruna Oswal, Chairperson of Abhey Oswal Group. Like past two editions of Rashtriya Swayamsiddh Samman, 20 winners – ten individuals and ten organisations – received the award which includes a cash prize of Rs one lakh and a certificate of appreciation to acknowledge and support their on-going work.
Five Individuals and one organisation received certificates of appreciation as Distinguished Recognition. Rashtriya Swayamsiddh Jeevan Samman for lifetime achievement was conferred upon SG Neginhal, a pioneer of urban forestry. He was given a cash prize of Rs one lakh and a certificate of appreciation for his contribution to the environment.
The chief guest of the programme, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad appreciated JSPL Foundation’s effort to honour these social innovators and change-makers, who have made a commendable contribution to society but work in silence.
“The dedication and social innovation of the winners are truly exemplary and commendable. They contributed to social development and nation-building in their unique way. I am sure JSPL Foundation’s effort to bring out their stories to limelight through Rashtriya Swayansiddh Samman will inspire several others”, said Naveen Jindal, Chairman – Jindal Steel & Power Ltd.
“Today, we honour and celebrate the dedication and sacrifice of each of our awardees, individual and organisation. Today, we award the people who have gone against the tide, fought the odds to stand up for the values and principles that every Indian nurtures, that Mahatma Gandhi upheld. We hope that the stories this evening, of their remarkable achievements, will inspire each of us. We hope their challenges are able to ignite a spark within each of us to go beyond our daily challenges to be better people and contribute in a larger way to the world around us”, said Shallu Jindal, Chairperson – JSPL Foundation.
The award was presented in ten categories: Art and Culture, Education, Environment, Entrepreneurship & Livelihood, Health, Innovation & Technology, Public Service, Agriculture & Rural Development, Sports and Women Empowerment. Rashtriya Swayamsiddh Jeevan Samman was presented for lifetime achievement.
Shri Venkatesh Jindal presented the vote of thanks.
The stories of the winners are truly inspirational. Gangadhar Rout, a retired veterinary technician from Odisha’s Keonjhar district spent his entire retirement benefits and savings of more than 12 lakh to build a 270-foot bridge in his village.
He won the Individual Award in the category of rural development. Anand Shankar, a photojournalist, left his home and career to establish a health centre in the remote Tons valley of Uttarakhand.
He has been honoured with an individual award in the category of health. Winner of Organisation Award in Public Service Hasiru Dala has impacted the lives of more than 10,000 waste pickers. With an innovative social enterprise, the organisation has created 20 entrepreneurs from the garbage pickers who are now paying income tax.
Madhav Sahasrabudhe, a retired mechanical engineer is on a mission to popularise the art of spinning. He is travelling to various parts of India, visiting schools, social organisations, and offices to teach the art of spinning.
He has been given an individual awards in the field of Art & Culture. Dr Kriti Bharti, dedicating her life to annul Child marriage in Rajsthan has been awarded for public service.
OP Jindal Global University was the ‘Knowledge Partner’ of the third edition of the Rashtriya Swayamsiddh Samman and facilitated the selection process and regional jury evaluations.
All the entries and nominations were screened and assimilated regionally for further assessment, as per the evaluation parameters metrics to finalise the awardees.
The selection process was rigorous with the aim being that only the deserving get the award. Four regional jury meetings (for South, East, West, and North) were held in Chandigarh, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Hyderabad respectively to shortlist the entries.
The regional juries comprised of prominent people from academia, business enterprises and civil society actors involved in the development sector.
The shortlisted entries and nominations were placed before the National Jury that met in September 2019 to finalise the winners.
The National Jury comprised of Aruna Abhey Oswal, Chairperson, Oswal Group; Shallu Jindal, Chairperson, JSPL Foundation; Dr (Prof) C Raj Kumar, Professor and Vice-Chancellor, OP Jindal Global University; Kamal Singh, CEO & Executive Director, UN Global Compact Network India; Dr Anurag Agrawal, Director, CSIR Institute of Genomics & Integrative Biology; Dr Ajit Pathak, National President, Public Relations Society of India; Subhro Roy, Development Professional & Advisor, International Youth Committee & Pinky Pradhan, Director, Plan India.
Rashtriya Swayamsiddh Samman was instituted in 2015 by JSPL Foundation to reward and nurture grass-root change-makers and encourage the unsung heroes who overcame adversity to create their own unique identity.
During the first and second edition of the Rashtriya Swayamsiddh Samman in 2015 and 2017, 50 grass-root level change makers have been awarded from different walks of life. These awardees today have become Ambassadors of change and inspiration for many, guiding others to achieve their dreams. ani