NEW DELHI: The inaugural TOI Social Impact Awards were given away to winners at a glittering ceremony here on Sunday.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh graced the occasion and interacted with the winners. Several distinguished dignitaries, ministers and politicians were also present to applaud the winners.
The TOI Social Impact Awards, in association with JP Morgan, recognizes and celebrates the efforts of unsung heroes from across the country, who have strived in their own small ways to bring about a positive change.
For the winners, it was a proud Sunday as their efforts got recognition.
Many of them, who had all these years worked in oblivion, took the centrestage as they received their awards.
The hunt for the men and women making real change began six months ago. Soon thereafter, TOI invited applications from NGOs, government organisations and the social responsibility wings of corporates in five categories: livelihoods, advocacy and empowerment, education, health and the environment.
The response to this brand new initiative was startling; TOI received 1,500 applications from all over the country, from a remote tribal village in Madhya Pradesh to a posh south Delhi housing colony.
An eminent jury comprising Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, Magsaysay awardee and National Advisory Council member Aruna Roy, Union minister for rural development Jairam Ramesh, Unique Identification Authority of India chairperson Nandan Nilekani, HDFCchairperson Deepak Parekh and Centre for Science and Education director-general Sunita Narain spent an afternoon debating and discussing, before selecting the winners.