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Honouring the Power of Few and Recognising the Power of ONE

KVP Awardees 2012-13

Lifelong Fight for Social Justice KVP

Mr.Shahid Azmi

Shahid Azmi was a noted Indian lawyer and human rights activist, most known for defending some of the accused in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, including Faheem Ansari. He was born and brought up Deonar suburb of Mumbai, in Muslim family with origins in Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh, and was third amongst five brothers. He started picking up cases of Muslims charged under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002 (POTA). Many of the cases were fought pro bono in consultation with NGOs, like Jamat-e-Ulema-e-Hind. His first major success as a defense lawyer came in the 2002 Ghatkopar bus bombing case when the Arif Paanwala, who was named the prime accused and arrested under POTA, was acquitted by the courts along with eight other accused, which eventually lead to the law being appealed. Azmi had notably represented the accused in the 7/11 Mumbai local train blasts, the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul and the 2006 Malegaon blasts. In July 2008, Azmi filed a petition in the High Court alleging that accused in the 7/11 Mumbai blasts, then lodged in Arthur Road Jail, were being tortured. Responding to the petition the court ordered an inquiry in the case, and the allegations were found to be true. In his brief career of seven years, he secured 17 acquittals in court. It was while he was defending Faheem Ansari in the 26/11 attacks case that he was killed in February 2010. Faheen Ansari was acquitted of all the charges by the Supreme Court of India on August 29, 2012. A biographical Hindi film based on his life, titled, Shahid (2012) has been directed by Hansal Mehta and produced by Anurag Kashyap. The film had its world premiere at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival's ‘City to City’ programme in September, 2012.

Lifelong Fight for Social Justice KVP

Ms.Geeta Venkadakrishnan

Geeta is the Director and the founder member, of Hope Kolkata Foundation, the implementing agency of Hope Foundation Ireland since it’s inception in 1999. Her goal is to ensure that all underprivileged children and women from difficult circumstance have their basic and human rights for better way of living and she is now reaching to 18000 children and women directly in West Bengal. She has initiated a Crèche for the less privileged mothers who are working as daily labourers in street and slums; education sponsorship programme for the children to continue their education so that they don’t drop out; shelter care projects for girls and boys who are addicted to drugs and are physically, sexually abused and abandoned ; Vocational Life skills for adolescent girl and boys through training and job placement; Primary health care in 14 slums of Kolkata with clinic and awareness programme. She has also started a hospital for less privileged that serves many people who live in the street and do not get access to minimum care .Child watch for the children living in the street is a 24 hours protection programme with Kolkata Police. She herself does night petrol in a child protection mobile ambulance from 9 pm to late night to rescue maximum number of children in vulnerable condition, who are then placed in a Crisis centre and then with a family, with continuous follow up. She initiated Micro credit - Women empowerment programme for urban women who are living in the street and slums. Geeta has provided rescue services, relief assistance and rehabilitation programmes for victims of Bhuj earthquake ,Tsunami disaster and floods in Kolkata as well as during fire in various slums. She is active in night rounds with her team in Kolkata for rescuing and rehabilitating children and women who are neglected or trafficked or victimized in the city. She was also involved in various social activities from young age . She had the opportunity to work with Mother Teresa, and served at Gandhi Prem Nivas, a home for leprosy patients in Titagarh one of the Asia's largest leprosy center mainstreaming 180 women 's life back to the society

Government Citizen KVP

Dr. S.Y. Quraishi

Dr. S.Y. Quraishi joined the Indian Administrative Service in 1971 after a two year stint as a lecturer in history at the Delhi College. He carried seeds of academic spirit and professional attitude with him to all the positions and responsibilities he held afterwards. He took over as the Election Commissioner of India on 1 July 2006 and subsequently became the 17th Chief Election Commissioner of India in July 2010. During the six years in the Election Commission, he introduced a number of innovative electoral reforms and established an Expenditure Control Division and a Voter Education Division in the Commission. He also established the India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management to professionalize election management and share it with the emerging democracies of the world. During his tenure the country witnessed an unprecedented participation revolution in electoral democracy besides the most peaceful and fair elections ever. Before joining this prestigious assignment, he has held several key positions, mostly in development and welfare ministries, very close to his heart. He was Secretary, Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Special Secretary (Health) & Director General of the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO), Director-General, Doordarshan (National Television), Director-General of Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan, the country’s largest rural youth development agency, and earlier as Director, Women and Child Development. He founded the Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development at Sriperumbudur (TN) and was its first Director from 1993 to 1997. He was the team leader in framing India’s National Perspective Plan for Youth-2020 and mainstreaming gender issues. He is also a fairly prolific writer and has authored a number of books and articles on various issues. These include two path-breaking papers namely “Islam, Muslims and Family Planning in India”, and, “Islam & AIDS”. His book ‘Social Marketing for Social Change’ has broken new ground in the field of development communication and is considered as a pioneering effort with special reference to its role in the development of women

It is better to light a Candle then curse the darkness


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