Mumbai: The annual Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation Awards, scheduled on 2nd December, 2019 felicitates achievers in the fields of humanitarian activities and Gandhian constructive programme. These awards are presented every year in honor of the birth anniversary of Shri Jamnalal Bajaj and to globally propagate his ideals.
This year, the function would be graced with the presence of Chief Guest Sadhguru, Founder, Isha Foundation. The acclaimed winners will be felicitated at a special function which will be presided over by Mr. Rahul Bajaj, Chairman, Board of Trustees and Dr. R. A. Mashelkar, FRS, Chairman of the Council of Advisors of the Foundation at The Royal Opera House, Girgaon, Mumbai.
This award is presented to honor and motivate the unprecedented contributions of individuals towards the upliftment and development of the society, rural community and the nation, at large
Each awardee is presented with a Citation, a Trophy, and a Cash Prize of Rs. 10,00,000 (for the International Award, the Cash Prize is presented in equivalent foreign exchange).
The four prime categories of awards include three National Awards and one International Award:
1. Constructive Work – recognizes the substantial constructive work focusing on Mahatma Gandhi’s eighteen constructive programmes in order to create a self-reliant community
2. Application of Science and Technology for Rural Development – recognizes the substantial contribution in the field of application of science and technology which are relevant, accessible and affordable to the weaker sections of the society and which has created an impact on rural and tribal development
3. Development and Welfare of Women and Children (exclusively for women) recognizes the substantial contributions towards development and welfare of women and children focusing areas like education, skills training, healthcare, literacy, livelihood activities, holistic development, advocacy, etc.
4. Promoting of Gandhian Values Outside India (International award) – recognizes the outstanding work of foreign individuals in proliferating Gandhiji’s vision in the areas like non-violence, peace, harmony, brotherhood and moral conscience
Shri Jamnalal Bajaj was adopted by Mahatma Gandhi as his fifth son and was the alter ego of the Mahatma in the Gandhian Constructive Movement. The Foundation continues to serve the ideals to which Shri Jamnalalji had dedicated his life to and promotes the kind of Gandhian constructive activities, in which he himself was deeply involved during his lifetime.
Chairman, Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation, Mr. Rahul Bajaj shares, “Over the decades, the Jamnalal Bajaj Awards have grown both in importance and in the involvement of change-makers throughout the world. Through these awards, we felicitate the men and women involved at the grassroots level in carrying out constructive and community development work in accordance with Gandhian principles. Their contributions have made remarkable impact on the growth trajectory of the society and its people. The award winners personify the ethos of the Gandhian way of life, and are therefore truly worthy of recognition. The acknowledgement, recognition and encouragement of the efforts of not only the awardees but many others, is the prime purpose of the Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation.”
Dr. R. A. Mashelkar, FRS, Chairman of the Council of Advisors of the Foundation states, “For four decades, the Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation has been regarded as a Gandhian institution of renown. A compassionate philanthropist, Shri Jamnalalji was a great social reformer. He devoted his life to the ideals of Satyagraha, Khadi, the banishment of untouchability and several other movements that make up for a vital part of Gandhiji’s programmes of Independence Movement and National Reconstruction.”
Mr. Madhur Bajaj, Trustee of Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation states, “Since 1977, the Foundation has ceaselessly strived to highlight the efforts of those who have worked diligently in keeping alive Gandhian principles of constructive work. Through this, the Foundation aims to inspire millions in India and across the world to adopt a Gandhian way of life. Over the years, the Bajaj family along with the esteemed members of Selection Committees, Council of Advisors and the Trustees have been documenting and deliberating the work of individuals who have inculcated the true spirit and ideology of the Gandhian principles into our society.”
The Pre-Awards Process
There are four selection committees, one for each award, which undertakes a rigorous evaluation and time-consuming selection process. All the nominations received from across the country and from abroad, are studied thoroughly to generate a nominee shortlist. An assessment report is prepared after each shortlisted nominee is personally visited by a Member of the Bajaj family, a few Selection Committee Members and the Secretary of the Foundation. The thorough analysis of these assessment reports then gives out the top three nominations. A final awardee is selected in each category unanimously by the Council of Advisors from these top three nominations, which are invariably acknowledged by the Trustees.
2019 Nomination Statistics
This year, 386 people from across India sent applications for the national category, recommending 164 names from 20 States in the category of Constructive Work, 58 nominations from 16 States in the category of Application of Science and Technology for Rural Development and 164 applications from 23 States for the award for Development and Welfare of Women and Children. 24 nominations representing 16 countries were received for the International Award.