The Chishti India Harmony Awards 2014

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The India Harmony Foundation presented ‘The Chishti India Harmony Awards, 2014’ on Thursday at India International Centre, New Delhi. The Chishti India Harmony Award recognizes the selfless work in building bridges between communities.
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The India Harmony Foundation presented ‘The Chishti India Harmony Awards, 2014’ on Thursday at India International Centre, New Delhi. The Chishti India Harmony Award recognizes the selfless work in building bridges between communities. The ceremony witnessed the gracious presence of Dr. Najma Heptulla, Union Minister for Minority Affairs, Government of India.
The highlight of the award ceremony was the talk show on Harmony which was facilitated by Mr.Salim Khan through a pre-recorded video. Key personalities showed up to the ceremony including Salman Khurshid, Meena Bindra, Designer and founder, BIBA Chain of fashion store, Shri Chinmaya Gharekhan Chairman, Indira Gandhi Centre for Arts, Rene Singh- Well Known Folk Singer, Rekha Surya – Ghazal Singer and many more.
The winners of ‘The Chishti India Harmony Awards, 2014’ were Shri Ratish Nanda,, Director (India) Aga Khan Trust for culture, Shri K.K Mohammed, Former Director (North) Archeological Survey of India and Shri P.S Krishnan, IAS (Retd.). The awards were given by Dr. Najma Heptulla, Hon’ble Union Minister for Minority Affairs, Government of India. The objective of The India Harmony Foundation is to build bridges between the communities and promote national harmony, restoring through a sustained series of confidence building measures, peace, harmony and genuine fellowship between different communities living in India.
About The India Harmony Foundation (IHF)
The India Harmony Foundation (IHF) was established in the year 2010 by its Founder President Late Shri Zafar Saifullah, former Cabinet Secretary, Government of India with Dr. A.R. Kidwai, former Governor of West Bengal, Bihar & Haryana; Shri Rehman Khan. The principal objective of The India Harmony Foundation is building bridges between different communities and promoting national harmony. Restoring, through a sustained series of confidence-building measures, peace, harmony and genuine fellowship between different communities living in India. The clear intent would be to reverse, across the country, the feeling of alienation that has crept into the psyche, the hearts and the minds of people, so that once again India becomes in every sense truly, ONE NATION AND ONE SOCIETY. Apart from extending direct assistance and succor to victims of communal disturbances, the Foundation shall provide an umbrella to all small NGO’s across the country in their endeavor to bring justice, economic and social security to such families.

Winners of The Chishti India Harmony Awards, 2014
Shri PS Krishnan’s vision of a just, egalitarian and humane society has run like a golden thread through his public and personal life. From his youth in Kerala, through his career as a profoundly committed officer of the Indian Administrative Service (1956-’90), and in the years since then, Shri Krishnan has vigorously and consistently worked for the advancement and empowerment of members of the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Socially and Educationally Backward Classes, especially the most disadvantaged and vulnerable among them. With indomitable determination and often against severe odds, he has sought to mould governance and public administration into a pro-active instrument to further the constitutional and human rights of these communities. From his earliest days as a district officer in Andhra Praesh, Shri Krishnan has led by example. He has camped in the ‘bastis’ of the marginalized breaching barriers of ‘untouchability’, he has distributed agricultural lands and house-sites to the landless and homeless, he has protected the lands of tribals and restored their lands to them when these were illegally grabbed by the powerful, he has organized cooperative societies to promote their economic growth and entrepreneurial skills. Throughout his outstanding career, Shri Krishnan has been in the forefront of the national effort to devise and implement plans for the economic and social advancement of these communities. Serving in the highest echelons of the Government of India, he conceptualized and operationalized the landmark Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act,1989. He secured Scheduled Caste status for Dalits of the Buddhist community and he piloted the Constitutional Amendment to accord constitutional status to the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, widening its scope and functions. Subsequently, as Member-Secretary of the National Commission for Backward Classes he ensured that backward communities, who had earlier been overlooked- including disadvantaged Muslims and Christians-were brought under the ambit of the Central List. Shri Krishnan’s tireless efforts have continued long after relinquishing office. He has guided interventions before the Supreme Court in matters of great consequence and has authored a major report surveying the social structure and stratification of Muslim society in different parts of India and more specifically in Andhra Pradesh. This resulted in the Government of Andhra Pradesh introducing reservations for economically and socially backward Muslims in that State. For all of his considerable attainments and a lifetime of service that has furthered human dignity in our country, the Foundation takes pride in conferring the Chishti India Harmony Award 2014 on this distinguished son of India.

Shri Ratish Nanda’s professional journey began with a passion for history. As a student of architecture, his discovery of Delhi’s neglected monuments kindled an interest in conservation which was to become his life’s work. His belief that respect for our heritage can serve as a lever not only for socio-economic development but also as a bridge between communities has contributed to the remarkable success of the community development project in Nizamuddin Basti, flowing from the restoration of Humayun’s Tomb and its gardens. His stewardship of this magnificent effort is a landmark achievement. His fifteen year association with the Aga Khan Trust for Culture is a reflection the great vision of HH Aga Khan which has found fulfillment in the talent and commitment of this outstanding young Indian. He has changed the lives of thousands of local dwellers by involving them in skill development and vocational training programmes. He has led from the front, motivating his team to build open spaces for games and recreation, community facilities and an open air theatre. His urban renewal mission has been marked by a deep empathy for the communities he has served and by his commitment to the greater public good. His work for National Harmony has promoted brotherhood and understanding and has placed him among the true guardians of India’s composite heritage. For all of these reasons the Foundation takes great pride in bestowing on Shri Ratish Nanda the Chishti India Harmony Award 2014.

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