President to honor Anjuman Sair-e-Gul Faroshan, Ram Puniyani with National Communal Harmony Award

By News Desk,

New Delhi: The Delhi-based NGO Anjuman Sair-e-Gul Faroshan and Dr. Ram Puniyani, a former Professor at IIT, Mumbai, are among the recipients of the prestigious National Communal Harmony Awards for the years 2007 and 2008. President Pratibha Devisingh Patil will give away the awards tomorrow.

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For the year 2007, Dr. Ram Puniyani and Setu Charitable Trust have been selected for the award. The jury, headed by the Vice-President of India, selected Dr. Ram Puniyani in the individual category and Mumbai based Setu Charitable Trust for the organisation category, according to a release from the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Dr. Ram Puniyani, a former Professor at IIT, Mumbai has been spreading the message of peace and amity through lectures, publications, workshops and meetings and by travelling extensively to different parts of the country dissemination messages of secularism, pluralism and communal harmony.

Setu Charitable Trust, Mumbai was established in the year 1994 and is engaged in the rehabilitation of riot victims and their families and more specially, children orphaned by communal, caste and terrorist violence in Mumbai and in other parts of the country. The work of the Setu Charitable Trust in the field of community development, mobilization and awareness building among the deprived sections of the society, such as, poor women and underprivileged children living in urban slums and rural areas, and rehabilitation of sexually exploited women in Parbhani is well-known.

For the year 2008, Dr. Dominic Emmanuel SVD and Anjuman Sair-e-Gul Faroshan have been selected.

Dr. Dominic Emmanuel SVD has been working for communal harmony for the past two decades. Having a Ph.D on ‘Communication as Dialogue: Its Progressive Recognition in Modern Christian, Academic and Broadcast Discourses’, Dr. Emmanuel has been in the service of inter-religious dialogue. He has been actively involved in resolving conflicts/differences between different communities. His literary works include 14 books on subjects covering value education for school children and communal harmony. He has worked as Radio Journalist on the themes of communal harmony He also organized/participated in inter-religious meeting of different religious leaders, multi-religious Kavi Sammelan, meetings of Communal harmony and inter-religious dialogue.

Anjuman Sair-e-Gul Faroshan, Delhi was established in the year 1964 and has been working for communal harmony since 1960s. The Anjuman has been organizing a weeklong unique historical festival every year, i.e., ‘Phool Walon ki Sair’, in Delhi for more than 40 years. The festival is a symbol of solidarity amongst Hindus and Muslims. Floral Chadars are offered at the Mazar of Sufi Saint Khwaja Bakhtiar Kaki in Mehrauli and floral Pankhas are offered by both Muslims and Hindus at the temple ‘Yog Mayaji’ also in Mehrauli. Considered as an emblem of communal harmony, the pankhas of Phool Walon Ki Sair, are presented to the President and Vice-President of India besides other dignitaries. The Anjuman involves troupes projecting diverse cultural representations from various states and with different religious background that participate in Phool Walon Ki Sair, conveying the message of communal harmony.

The National Communal Harmony Awards were instituted in 1996 by the National Foundation for Communal Harmony (NFCH), an autonomous organisation set up by Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs, for promoting communal harmony and national integration. The award has been instituted with a view to demonstrating due appreciation and recognition of the efforts of individuals and organisations/institutions for promotion of communal harmony and national integration ina sustained manner over a sufficiently long period of time. In addition to a citation, the award carries a cash award of Rs 5.00 lakh and Rs. 2.00 lakh for the organization and individual categories, respectively.