Mr. Ram Nath Kovind, Hon’ble President of India, set a precedent when he came to Surat on 29th May 2018 to attend the ‘SantokBaa Humanitarian Award’ presentation function, organised by SRK Knowledge Foundation (SRKKF). After conferring the ‘SantokBaa Humanitarian Award’ to Nobel Laureate,Mr. Kailash Satyarthi, and Former Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Mr. A.S. Kiran Kumar, along with Rs. 1 crore (equivalent to US$ 1,50,000) each, he admitted that he came to attend the award function by breaking tradition of Rashtrapati Bhavan (President House). He said that generally the President wouldn’t attend functions of private organisations. “When I learnt that Satyarthi and Kiran Kumar were to be awarded, I said these two are good men. Later, after checking the credentials of the award-giver, I learnt that they are also fine. “So, I decided to break the tradition a little bit to felicitate two good people,” the President said.
Mr. Kailash Satyarthi said he was honoured to receive the award and declared that he would donate the money to Surakshit Bachpan Fund (Safe Childhood Fund) for the welfare of children. He asked the Chief Minister of Gujarat to take stern actions in eradicating child labour which still exists in some parts of the State.
Mr. Kiran Kumar said he received the award not as an individual, but as a representative of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). He said he would dedicate this money to further research and development work in space science and technology. Mr. Kiran Kumar is one of the persons instrumental in taking India to the list of top 5 countries having space technology.
Mr. Kovind said he was happy that Surat’s business community was supportive of philanthropic and social welfare efforts. He also praised the organisers for instituting the awards.
Mr. O.P. Kohli, Hon’ble Gujarat Governor, and Mr. Vijay Rupani, Hon’ble Chief Minister, were also present at the occasion. Both of them complimented the Awardees and praised SRKKF for its notable contribution to the larger good of the society. At the occasion, SRKKF also received a letter of appreciation from Mr. Narendra Modi, the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India.
SRKKF Chairman Mr. Govind Dholakia, barely educated, once a farmer now a diamond baron and a great philanthropist, said, “I wanted to institute an award in the memory of my mother who taught me values of life. We have been able to recognise wonderful people who have been working for the betterment of society and impacting lives of millions.”
Started in 2007, the award has been conferred upon other eminent personalities from a variety of fields, including Mr. Ratan Tata, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Dr Sudha Murthy, Lord Bhikhu Parekh, Dr Verghese Kurien, Gandhian Narayan Desai, Dr. H. L. Trivedi, Mrs. Poornima Pakvasa, Father Valles, Dr. M. S. Swaminathan and Dr. Sam Pitroda.
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