Climate change has gained much attention around the world. And the contentious issue was the subject of the two-day Conclave ‘Right every Wrong’, organised by the India Confederation of NGOs (ICONGO) and Khemka Foundation in Delhi on November 25-26.
The Conclave was aimed at empowering stakeholders of the society to identify the causes and understand the significance and scale of the impact of climate change and work out methods to deal with it at individual, local, national and international level. It acted as a platform for people from various backgrounds to get together and have output oriented discussions over the burning issue of climate change, and the risk that India is facing due to it, by presenting a holistic picture on these issues.
The Conclave concluded with the Karamveer Puraskar, which saw people from various fields and different walks of life being commended for the role they have been playing in diverse areas ranging from social work and environment to spreading AIDS awareness and best practices in media.
Ad guru and social activist Alyque Padamsee and Dr Leo Rebello, a world-renowned authority on AIDS and alternative medicine, were conferred with the Karamveer Puraskar for Lifelong Fight for Social Justice and Action.
Actor Rahul Bose, artist Remo Fernandes and Sushma Veer, founder of ‘Akansha’, were given The Artist for Change Awards for using their popular status to render more visibility to a cause for possible solutions. Bose has been involved with providing relief and support people in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. His NGO, The Foundation, is also actively involved in combating discrimination.
Karamveer Puraskar for Lifetime Achievment Award went to Dr M S Swaminathan, ‘father of the Green Revolution in India, for agriculture.
Karamveer Puraskar for a Sportsperson for Change went to bandminton player Gopichand Pullela for refusing a lucrative endorsement for a big cola company, insisting that values were more important than money. And to Mahesh Bhupati, 10 times Grand-Slam winner and Padmashree awardee, together with his wife Shvetha Bhupathi. The couple had started FIST (Foundation of Indian Sporting Talent) that supports young people who have the potential to become tennins champions.
ICONGO has also partnered with some media entities for the Karamveer Puraskar awards. The ICONGO-exchange4media Young Creative Citizen Karamveer Puraskar, a poster making competition, was jointly shared by Ankur Garg, an art director by profession and winner of the Maneka Gandhi Award for Care for Street Animals, and copy writer Vivek Kumar Singh.
The ICONGO-Business World Corporate Citizen in CSR Karamveer Puraskar went to Mamta Saikia, Head of CSR, Bharti Telecommunications.
The ICONGO -Business World Corporate Citizen in IT Karmaveer Puraskar was awarded to Sridhar Reddy, Founder of the Pioneer Group.
Actor and filmmaker Revathy and freelance journalist Altaf Ahmad were awarded the ICONGO-Tehelka-CMS Media Citizen Karamveer Puraskar for being instrumental in creating best practices in media, promoting social issues and sensitising people to the cause.
The Awards also recognised the contribution of children towards social issues. The Kids for Change Karamveer Puraskar was given to Benzy, a mentally challenged girl, who is able to express herself solely through her music, and Akhil Akkineni, who acted in a film called ‘Sisindri’, the proceeds of which went towards building a hospital and shelter for animals in Hyderabad.
The Conclave also saw the launch of a portal Dishoooom.com, which is aims to provide a platform for ordinary citizens to share information on discrimination and injustice.