The Award is presented in recognition of an institution or individual’s outstanding contribution and commitment to helping the underprivileged. The Award not only provides financial help but also recognizes their selfless dedication towards bringing change by overcoming debilitating circumstances or physical challenges.
ANNUAL AWARD 2018 This year we chose to highlight the plight of acid attack survivors and how drastically their lives can be changed forever. Unfortunately this heinous, premeditated act has a devastating physical impact which leaves a permanent psycho-social stigma on the survivors. Promoting awareness against gender-based crimes and constantly investing efforts to create dialogue has allowed this movement to gain a far reaching impact across India. Today, survivors of acid attacks have access to medical and legal support with rehabilitation platforms dedicated to helping them re-gain a life of dignity and independence. After looking closely at all nominations received this year, our eminent panel of jurists unanimously decided that it was Mayna Pramanik who deserved this year’s recognition because of the strength and courage she has shown in overcoming her terrible plight and rebuilding her life. A bubbly 13 year old girl from Lalgarh, Murshidabad, Mayna Pramanik was married off to Pabitra Pramanik in the year 1998. With the birth of a baby girl in 2000, her in-laws started demanding money from Mayna’s parents. On denial, her husband with the help of his mother and brother poured acid on her, then doused her with kerosene and set her face on fire. Against all odds, Mayna has been relentlessly striving to improve her own life and has also been a strong support to her parents and daughter.
The courage and tenacity she demonstrated in overcoming the effects of this heinous crime committed against her and her determination to improve her circumstances and be independent is truly commendable. The Ladies Study Group Charitable Trust Award includes a certificate and a cash prize of Rs two lakh.
SHANTI KHAITAN AWARD
The Shanti Khaitan Award was instituted in the year 2016 to financially support the education of underprivileged girls who show keen interest and commitment towards continuing their studies.
This year the “Foundation for Innovations in Health” has been chosen for this award in recognition of their efforts in training rural youth and providing them opportunities of future employment.
Formed in 2014 as a not-for-profit unit, the Foundation supports young rural women & trans-genders with low formal education (Class VIII/X) through merit-cum-means scholarships and helps them overcome social and economic barriers to carve out a livelihood for themselves and their families. They are trained as ‘Paramedical Technicians’ at ‘School for Skills: Allied Health Sciences” through knowledge acquisition, skill development and personality development. The school has taught over 1500 youth across five districts in West Bengal, of whom, 45% are women, 71% come from low-income families, and 84% have been employed within two months of completion of their training. The School offers multiple ‘Job Roles’ under National Skill Development Corporation.
This year the LSG Charitable Trust also made donations to the Saroj Gupta Cancer Centre and Research Institute at Thakurpukur to help purchase bedside monitors; NGO Ek Tara to support their efforts to educate children from financially weaker backgrounds, MCKS Food for the Hungry Foundation to help run their sewing school that provides training and employment opportunities to young girls and women who need financial support and to Weavers’ Studio to set up a water filtration plant in Tardaha village in Bhangore.