Udaipur : Environment activist Padma Shri Jadav “Molai” Payeng, human rights pleader Vrinda Grover, creative writer Piyush Pandey would be among the dignitaries to be honored with the prestigious Maharana Mewar foundation awards in a glittering ceremony to be held on March 22 at the Manek Chowk of the City Palace here. The ceremony is an annual event in which national and international dignitaries are conferred honors for their valuable contribution to society in their respective field. Celebrities like APJ Abdul Kalam, Marc Tully, Aruna Rai, Sir Richard Attenborough, Dr. Farooq Abdullah , Amitabh Bachhan, Javed Akhtar, Gulzar, Shashi Tharoor etc have been felicitated in the past.
Announcing the International and National Annual Awards 2015, convener of the ceremony Mayank Gupta said “ the international award, named after Col. James Tod is to honour a foreign national who has made a lasting contribution through his work of permanent value an understanding of the spirit and values of Mewar. This year the award would be given to Prof John D. Smith, former professor of Sankrit at the Cambridge university for his contribution in the historical study of Rajasthan and Mewar.
The Haldighati Award for media and journalism would be given to Piyush Pandey for his creative writings in the advertisement world. Pandey is the Executive Chairman & National Creative Director Ogilvy & Mather India and the winner of over 600 awards for advertising from all over the world. Hakim Khan Sur Award would be conferred to lawyer Vrinda Gover in recognition of her distinguished service of permanent value to society on issues of human rights. She specializes in cases related to domestic violence, human rights, custodial torture and sexual minorities. Maharana Udai Singh Award will be conferred to Jadav Payeng known as the Forest Man of Assam for his contribution in conservation of forests and ecology. Over the course of several decades, Payeng planted and tended trees on a sand bar of the river Brahmaputra turning it into a forest reserve. The forest, called Molai forest after him, is located near Kokilamukh of Jorhat, Assam, and encompasses an area of about 1,360 acres. Another National Award is Panna Dhai Award would be conferred to Anu Aga, an Indian businesswoman and social worker, who led Thermax Ltd., the 32.46 billion energy and environment engineering business. She had figured among the eight richest Indian women who took to social work after retirement.