Kamala Kanta Dash, BeyondHeadlines
The Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India has invited nominations for Kabir Puraskar for communal Harmony. State governments have to send nominations to the ministry by 30 June 2012 and the Union Government by 16 July 2012.
Kabir Puraskar was established in 1990 to recognize and award acts of exceptional “physical/moral courage displayed under circumstances of danger to the life of the rescuer in saving the lives and properties of member(s) of another community, caste or ethnic group during communal riots, caste conflicts or ethnic clashes.”
Interested citizens should contact their respective State/UT government for their nomination. All Indian citizens of either sex in all walks of life (other than members of the Armed Forces, Police Forces and members of recognised fire services, Government servants, if the act performed by them falls in the sphere of their duty) shall be eligible for this Award. This award has three different grades. Grade-1 carries cash prize of Rs. 200,000, Grade-2 carries Rs. 100,000 and Grade-3 carries Rs. 50, 000.
The nominations from the State Governments/UT Administrations are sent to the Screening Committee consisting of Union Home Secretary, Director (Intelligence Bureau) and Secretary in the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment. The recommendations of this Committee are placed before the Union Home Minister and the Prime Minister for final approval. This national award is announced on Gandhi Jayanti (2 October) each year. The names of the awardees are published in the official gazette.
As per the official data available at the Ministry of Home Affairs 37 extraordinary individuals have been awarded this prestigious Kabir Puraskar from 1990 to 2008. No one was awarded in 1997 and 2002. In addition to Kabir Puraskar, the Ministry of Home Affairs to promote communal harmony has another national award scheme The National Communal Harmony Award to recognize outstanding contribution towards promotion of communal harmony and/or national integration.
The Ministry has also undertaken a number of initiatives to promote communal harmony through different schemes. Amongst these the two key steps have been i) Developing a broad guidelines on Communal Harmony, ii) awarding school, college and university students by conducting state level annual essay competition on National Integration and Communal Harmony. In 2012 the inter-community relations remain vulnerable and volatile in different regions of the country. These awards are definitely great ways to recognize and promote people who have worked for amity, harmony and peaceful coexistence.
The details of the Kabir Puraskar scheme are available on the website of Ministry of Home Affairs
Invitation for Nomination: http://mha.nic.in/pdfs/Kabir-Puraskar-Scheme.pdf
List of Awardees: http://mha.nic.in/pdfs/KabirAwd.pdf