25 Jan :Dr. Mohd. Hanif Khan Shastri and the Center for Human Rights & Social Welfare, Rajasthan have been selected for the National Communal Harmony Awards For the year 2009. The Jury headed by the Hon’ble Vice-President of India selected the awardees in recognition of their contribution for the promotion of Communal Harmony.
Dr. Mohd. Hanif Khan Shastri, aged 58 is a learned Sanskrit scholar and has been awarded Ph.D. on Mahamantra Gayatri Aur Surah Fatiha Ka Arth Prayog Evam Mahatmya Ki Drishtri Se Tulnatmak Addhayan in 1991. Dr Shastri has at least eight books to his credit as an author. The most popular amongst these publications are Mohangita, Geeta Aur Quran men Samanjasya, Ved aur Quran se Mahamantra Gayatri aur Surah Fatiha, Vedon men Manav Adhikar and Meljol. The publications are considered as masterpiece by cross section of academicians and scholars. Dr. Shastri has endeavored to promote communal harmony by highlighting similarities between Hindu and Muslim religions through his unique literary contributions in Hindi and Sanskrit. His other activities include delivering lectures, talks and TV shows on theme of communal harmony. He has also received appreciation letters for his contribution in literature with particular reference to communal harmony.
The Center for Human Rights & Social Welfare, registered in 1976, is a social organisation working for communal harmony, human rights, welfare of the homeless persons, women, footpath dwellers, rehabilitation of needy and deprived persons. Its specific activities include organising interfaith dialogue, programmes of Milan on the occasions of Eid, Holi, Diwali and Christmas, communal harmony rally, kavi sammelan, mushaira etc. to promote communal harmony and national integration. The Center has campaigned against terrorism and has been organising programmes like ‘Dil se suno’ and ‘Garima samvad’ to sensitize the people on the rights of the homeless persons. The organisation has actively participated in the rehabilitation work of the victims of bomb blasts that occurred in Jaipur city in May 2008. It also organised a number of programmes to strengthen fraternity at sensitive places.
The National Communal Harmony Awards were instituted in 1996 by the National Foundation for Communal Harmony, 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 in a sustained manner over a sufficiently long period of time.
In addition to a citation in each category, the award carries a cash award of five lakh rupees for the Organisation and two lakh rupees for the Individual categories respectively.