Barinder Saluja, Chandigarh,March 15 : Today, Godfrey Phillips Bravery, a corporate social responsibility initiative of Godfrey Phillips India, today honored 10 brave people from Punjab, Haryana & Himachal Pradesh with Godfrey Phillips Zonal Bravery Awards 2011, here in Chandigarh at Hotel Taj. The Awards were presented by Lt. General S. R. Ghosh, AVSM, SM, ADC General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Army HQ, Western Command as the Chief Guest.
Mr. Harmanjit Singh, General Secretary, Godfrey Phillips Bravery Awards, Godfrey Phillips India, said “The Godfrey Phillips Bravery Awards were instituted in 1990, to honor exceptional bravery exhibited by common man. Twenty years on, the movement continues to inspire people of all ages, beliefs and origins, and celebrate the spirit of bravery. To commemorate 20 years we are increasing our footprint to cover 20 states & 4 states that are being added are Jammu Kashmir, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.” He added, “With our two initiatives, Godfrey Phillips Bravery Awards and Amodini, we have been working to promote the values of courage and empowerment in society. We take immense pride in having honored 1,200 brave hearts and empowered 6,600 women directly.”
Godfrey Phillips India instituted the Godfrey Phillips Bravery Awards in 1990. These Awards bring to light the uncommon spirit of the common man, and gives recognition to extraordinary yet little known acts of physical valor, social service and humanitarian deeds. The purpose of the Godfrey Phillips Bravery Awards is to instill amongst people the culture of selfless action. Since inception in 1990, these awards have grown to encompass 16 states – Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, West Bengal, Goa and Himachal Pradesh.
Dr. Kamaljit Soi : For his exemplary and prompt act, Dr. Kamaljit Soi of Punjab is awarded the physical Bravery special Award of the Godfrey Phillips Bravery Awards. No accident victim will ever suffer for want of help and care if they follow the example set by Dr. Kamaljit Soi. Dr. Soi was driving to Ludhiana from Chandigarh. On the way he saw a serious accident between two cars. As a responsible citizen, he immediately pressed his brakes and came out of his car. He found two persons in one and nine in other struggling to come out of their badly damaged vehicles. There was no help available on the spot. Kind and compassionate, Dr. Soi decided to act and helped them come out of their vehicles. Meanwhile, he called for an ambulance and sent the injured to hospital. He took seriously injured passengers in his own car. All eleven persons reached hospital in time and their lives were saved. He arranged 30 units of blood and donated blood for them. Dr. Soi also informed relatives of the injured and was at the hospital till morning, when they arrived and took charge. He was honored by Punjab Government. Today he was awarded a Medal, Rs. 11,000/= & Merit certificate.
Sh. Ilamjot Singh : Shri llamjot Singh is young, courageous and brave. A student of Class X, he realizes his social responsibilities. He does not hesitate to confront evil. On 23rd June, 2007, he was taking a walk with his mother. He noticed light in a house in neighborhood and got suspicious. The neighbours had gone to Vaishno Devi shrine. He stopped and requested his mother to call the neighbor on mobile to check whether he had returned. She was told that the residents were not in town and the house was locked. Ilamjot Singh immediately went into action. He called two other neighbours for help and went up to confront the thieves, who escaped leaving behind goods worth lakhs which they had stolen from other houses. Later it was found that they had broken into two more houses that night. Shri Ilamjot’s act of bravery won him an award from child welfare council & Physical Bravery Special Award of the Godfrey Phillips Bravery Awards. Today he was awarded a Medal, Rs. 11,000/= & Merit certificate.
Sh. Hem Raj : Shri Hem Raj of Himachal Pradesh is awarded the Physical Bravery Award of the Godfrey Phillip Bravery Awards.
It seems God has sent Shri Hem Raj on Earth to save lives. A boatman by profession, he has saved many persons from drowning by sheer acts of courage and timely actions. It was in 2004 when he saw a man drawing water from a canal. Suddenly, the man slipped and fell into the canal. Showing great presence of mind, Shri Hem Raj rushed and jumped into the canal to save the man. ln 2007 he was working in Drazor of BBMB Lake. He saw a lady drowning. As if on instinct he pulled his boat out and rowed as fast as he could. He reached the spot and jumped into the lake and saved her. Same year, he saved another lady who too had slipped and fallen into the lake. For Shri Hem Raj every life – human or animal – is important and beautiful. ln August 2007 he was going to Sundernagar, when he saw a bull drowning in a canal. Crowd had gathered but sensing danger to their lives, none dared to save the animal. But Shri Hem Raj was different. He quickly came forward with a rope and pulled the bull out with some help from people gathered there. ln another incident on that day he saved a cow from drowning. Today he was awarded a Medal, Rs. 50,000/= & Merit certificate He is a recipient of ‘Himachal Gaurav’ award.
Smt. Birmati Devi : Smt. Birmati Devi of Haryana is awarded Social Bravery Award of the Godfrey Phillip Bravery Awards. Smt. Birmati, known as Pedwali Amma in Mahendragarh distt. of Haryana has to her credit a massive tree plantation drive in about 35 acres of land. Mother of five daughters, she has dedicated herself to the cause of small family. ln 1987-88 she received training in community Development Training centre and worked tirelessly for propagating Small family norms. She was elected to village panchayat in 1977 and then rose to become village sarpanch eleven years later. She participated in campaigns against female foeticide, child labour, Girl literacy, Dowry, addiction etc. She also organized campaigns to create awareness about social ills through stage shows and group discussions. Because of her efforts the male-female ratio in Mahendragarh rose from 1000:810 to 1000:907.
Haryana Government gave her a cash prize of Rs three lakhs . Today he was awarded a Medal, Rs. 50,000/= & Merit certificate.
Dr. Sushil Gupta : Dr. Sushil Gupta has proved that with courage and determination a small one-man initiative can develop into a mass movement. Founder President of NGO, My Mother Most Beautiful, he fell in a ditch about four years back. He lodged a complaint with civic authorities in Amritsar, but did not receive any response. He decided to fill it on his own and recruited needy people to work with him to keep his city clean and green. With twin objective of cleaning city and fighting alcoholism, Dr, Gupta initially appointed some people addicted to drinking on the condition that they shall never touch liquor. He would take his team out to plant trees, clean roads. The effort would cost him Rs 10- 15,000 per month. Dr. Gupta and his team spent I hours every day for their city. They remove polythene bags from the drains and ropes from poles. The team has planted scores of trees, collected dust and transferred that to low lying areas. Many philanthropists have since then joined Dr. Gupta in this noble cause. His wife and some rickshaw drivers have also come forward to help. Dr Gupta organizes rallies and workshops to create public awareness about environmental issues. He visits schools and colleges and at present has about 1.2 lack students supporting and believing in the issues being tackled by him. For its selfless service to the society and its campaign to keep the city clean, the NGO My Mother Most Beautiful of Punjab is awarded the Social Bravery Award of the Godfrey Phillips Bravery Awards. Today he was awarded a Medal, Rs. 11,000/= & Merit certificate.
Dr. Anuradha Sharma : Dr. Anuradha Sharma’s unique movement “Hamari Kaksha – A Class Apart” providing free coaching to poor children with the help of non conventional methods is proving to be a big success in educating poor children in society. The organization has been working with children from weaker sections of society, who are either out of school or are lagging behind in all aspects of their personality. Under this experiment, children and their mothers also are admitted to its class rooms. Around 1200 children and 200 mothers have already benefited from this initiative. “Hamari Kaksha” is proving to be a support home and acts as surrogate parent to vulnerable young children. The curriculum aims at imparting moral and human values to the kids. They are exposed to theatre, music, dance and art. It has also taken up programmes for women empowerment, youth and community motivation. The organization also assists Sarva Siksha Abhiyan by participating with AIE Centres running in Govt. schools to reach out to more children. ln recognition of her contribution to the welfare of vulnerable children and empowerment of women, Dr. Anuradha Sharma, the founder of ‘Hamari Kaksha, of Punjab is awarded the Social Bravery Special Award of the Godfrey Phillips Bravery Awards. Today he was awarded a Medal, Rs. 11,000/= & Merit certificate.
Shri Harinder Pal Singh : Shri Harinder Pal Singh stands as an epitome of strength and courage for one and all. With 70 percent disability in his left leg due to polio, he is a wonderful Bhangra dancer, an adventure sports freak and a social worker to the core.
He formed country’s first Bhangra team consisting of members, who are all physically challenged. He performed in lndia and abroad. His troupe is now also presenting Gidha, Sammy, Jhumar and also Dandas to millions of appreciative viewers. Shri Harinder’s list of achievements is long. lt contains an all round trip of country on his scooter. He is a keen tracker, table tennis, badminton and cricket player. He has been regularly participating in social service camps. Under his leadership Rising Star Disable Youth Club organized Disable Awareness Camp in Ropar, where 50 physically challenged persons were identified and given tricycles, artificial limbs, deaf & dumb machines. Even some school children were donated tricycles. Camps have also been held in village Bhago, Anadpur sahib, Kharar. He also organises awareness rallies against social evils. ln recognition of his strong will power and undying spirit to fight and live a hero’s life, Shri Harinder Pal Singh of Punjab is awarded Mind of steel Award of the Godfrey Phillips Bravery Awards. Today he was awarded a Medal, Rs. 50,000/= & Merit certificate.
Late Shri Sanjay Kumar : Award taken by his Wife Smt. Suman Rani.
Late Shri Sanjay Kumar belongs to the rare category of brave men who sacrifice their lives to save another life. On 20th June 2010, Shri Sanjay Kumar was resting under a tree on the bank of Bhakra canal after lunch. Soon, some students from Neelkhedi Polytechnic reached the place at about 3.00 p.m. and decided to take a plunge in the canal. Soon, Shri Sanjay heard shouts for help. A student, Mahipal was drowning. Shri Sanjay reacted fast and immediately jumped into the canal. He caught the drowning young man but could not take full control. Mahipal was struggling to keep afloat. Shri Sanjay urged him to be calm and be cooperative, but to no avail. He knew that the struggle could put him in danger too. He could leave him and come out, but he decided against it & kept trying. Mahipal was too strong and took Shri Sanjay with him deep into the water. Despite best efforts, Shri Sanjay could not save him and they both drowned. After three days, on June 23, police recovered their bodies. Late Shri Sanjay was a good swimmer. ln 2009, he had saved two class Vlll students from the canal. For his exemplary courage and for sacrificing his life, while trying to save another life, Late Shri Sanjay Kumar of Haryana is awarded the Physical Bravery Award, Posthumusly, of the Godfrey Phillips Bravery Awards. Today he was awarded a Medal, Rs. 50,000/= & Merit certificate.