The Government has announced the winners of the Gandhi Peace Prize for 2015 to 2018. The award, instituted in 1995 during the commemoration of Gandhi’s 125th birth anniversary, is conferred to individuals and institutions for their contributions to social, economic and political transformation through Gandhian methods.
Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari, was given the award for 2015 for its work on rural development and education. For 2016, the joint winners were the Akshaya Patra Foundation for providing mid-day meals to children and the Sulabh International for its efforts towards emancipating manual scavenging.
The Ekai Abhiyan Trust will receive the award for 2017 for its efforts towards the education of rural and tribal children and for 2018, Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman of the Nippon Foundation, will receive the award for his efforts in the eradication of leprosy.
The decision was taken by a 5-member jury which comprised of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, senior BJP leader L.K. Advani, CJI Ranjan Gogoi and leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjuna Kharge.
The decision to award Akshaya Patra the Gandhi Peace Prize is likely to displease many people from a certain quarter. As we have reported earlier, Akshaya Patra has been under attack from foreign-funded NGOs and a coterie of ‘civil rights’ organizations that have intimate links to ‘Urban Naxals’. Furthermore, one activist who has been demanding that Akshaya Patra’s mid-day meal contract be terminated appears to be motivated by a deep-seated hatred for the Brahmin community.
Prime Minister Modi personally congratulated all the winners through his Twitter account.
The Akshaya Patra Foundation’s determined efforts ensure nutritious meals for many.
Their outstanding work has also ensured more children go to school.
I congratulate them for the Gandhi Peace Prize, 2016. @AkshayaPatra
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 16, 2019
The winners will receive a monetary reward of Rs. 1 crore, a citation, a plaque and a traditional handicraft/handloom item as rewards for their exemplary work.