BeyondHeadlines News Desk
New Delhi: The family of noted Gandhian Lakshmi Chand Jain (1925–2010) declined to accept the Padma Vibhushan, country’s second highest civilian award, on a day when President Pratibha Patil gave away the Padma awards. Jain was posthumously chosen for this honor, but his family declined to accept the award since he had been against the concept of state honours.
Sources quoting Jain’s family members and several NGOs said the late Gandhian was against accepting state honours.
President Patil gave away 61 Padma awards at Rashtrapati Bhavan yesterday evening. Another investiture ceremony is scheduled for April 1 to honour the remaining 66 awardees.
Jain was a Gandhian activist and writer. In his youth, he participated briefly in the Indian freedom movement. Later, he served at various times as a member of the Planning Commission, Indian High commissioner to South Africa, a member of the World Commission on Dams (WCD) and secretary of the Indian Cooperative Union and the All-India Handicrafts Board. He was awarded the 1989 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service.
While yet in his youth, Jain took part in the Quit India movement (1942). During the partition of India (1947), he was put in charge of the refugee camp at Kingsway Camp in North Delhi. He helped introduce cooperative societies for farming and cottage industries into rehabilitation camps. As a volunteer organiser with the Indian Cooperative Union (ICU), he joined the rehabilitation project for refugees from Pakistan located in Faridabad, 20 km from Delhi.