Godfrey Phillips India (GPI) sees the `Red &White Bravery Awards', established in 1990, as a social initiative that is part of its corporate social responsibility.
It does not see the ad ban on cigarettes and tobacco products, from May 1, coming in the way of such an activity in the coming years.
From May 1, advertisements of cigarettes and other tobacco products are to be permitted only at the point-of-sale or warehouse. The tobacco legislation enacted in 2003 also prohibits a person from promoting the use or consumption of cigarettes or any other tobacco product; or any trademark or brand name of cigarettes or any other tobacco product "in exchange for a sponsorship, gift, prize or scholarship given or agreed to be given by another person."
"Red & White bravery awards are not surrogate. It is a self-standing trademark that is independent of the Red & White cigarette trademark. We hope that the Government would let us continue with such an activity next year also, and not throw the baby with the bathwater, They should look at the end-objective of such an activity, which is not commercial," Mr Sundeep Kumar, Senior Vice-President, Corporate Affairs, GPI, told Business Line.
Mr Kumar claimed that there is no overt or covert attempt on part of the company to link the bravery awards with the Red & White cigarette brand.
"The intent of the bravery awards is not to capitalise on the cigarette brand. The awards are a genuine activity.
The intent is to go to the grass-root level and honour unsung heroes for their acts of physical valour, social service and humanitarian deeds," Mr Kumar said.
Meanwhile, GPI on Tuesday announced the winners of the 12th Red & White bravery awards for the State of Delhi.
It also announced that the `Social Lifetime Achievement Award', a national award, would go to Mr Ram Chander, the man behind the `Jaipur Foot'.
He would receive the award from the Attorney General, Mr Soli J. Sorabjee, at a function to be held here on Tuesday evening.
Mr Chander is one of the inventors of the `Jaipur foot', which has given back a sense of self worth and the joy of living for millions of persons who have lost their limbs in accidents and wars across the world.
Red & White bravery awards are now given in 15 States across the country.