Social innovators awarded by JSPL Foundation

New Delhi, Jan 15 (IANS) Extraordinary grassroots level workers and social innovators from across India have been presented with the JSPL Foundation’s first Rashtriya Swayamsiddh Samman awards by union Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy.

Nine individuals and 10 organisations from across sectors received the award, which carries a cash prize of Rs.1 lakh, at a function here on Thursday evening.

“The objective of the Rashtriya Swayamsiddh Samman is to bring out stories, yet untold, of courage, determination and a will to bring about a change in the society,” the Jindal Steel and Power Ltd Foundation said in a statement.

Among the awardees was Genabhai Darghabhai Patel, who, was the first to start pomegranate farming in the Banaskantha region of Gujarat over a decade ago, which crop has now spread to cover more than 30,000 hectares of land accomodating around 2.5 crore plants in north Gujarat and south Rajasthan.

Being differently abled, Patel said he found pomegranate cultivation an easier option than routine farming. Highlighting the growing popularity of the fruit, he said the farmers in the area had sold their entire crop in a recent year to the Adani Group, for export.

A second awardee was young Ankur Singh from Jodhpur, Rajasthan for his work in propagation of environmental and energy conservation education through cartoons and paper presentations.

Among the organisations awarded was CanSupport from Delhi, which is India’s largest home-based palliative care for terminal cancer patients. This non-profit organisation provides home-based medical, nursing and emotional support to cancer patients and their families.

The programme looks after around 1,700 patients and families at any given time in the Delhi-NCR region, CanSupport founder Harmala Gupta said. She said CanSupport, which has the band Dire Straits’ song “Walk of Life” as its anthem, is organising a “Walk for Life” in support of its work that is slated to flag off from Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on the morning of January 31.

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