Dr. Anthony Fauci, Chef Vikas Khanna, Dr. Pradeep Kumar, & Minister K K Shailaja amongst the recipients this year
Harmony Foundation hosted the Mother Teresa Memorial Awards for Social Justice yesterday, the 27th of December, 2020. The Awards in its 16th year is the only award endorsed by Sister Prema, the Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity, the organization started by Mother Teresa. The theme for this year’s awards was, ‘Celebrating Compassion In Times Of Covid ’.
Amongst the awardees this year are:
Dr.Anthony Fauci (USA)
80-year-old Dr Fauci is the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, USA. He and his task force were among the first ones to realize the seriousness of this pandemic. His extraordinary efforts in leading his task force to create awareness about the pandemic. He became the ‘de facto’ public health spokesperson to help and guide all countries, serving as an example for healthcare workers and people all across the globe to follow.
Fr. Fabio Stevenazzi (Milan, Italy)
48-year-old Father Fabio Stevenazzi’s decision to return to medical practice in order to help those infected with COVID 19 has thrust him to be the modern day example of St Charles Borromeo who in 1576 during the Great Plague that hit the city of Milan and cut the population by half, stayed behind to nurse the sick and renovate hospitals. Hence his decision to transform from healing souls to healing bodies is an expression of pastoral compassion necessary in these times. It is also an embodiment of the church as a “field hospital”.
Dr.Pradeep Kumar (Chennai)
In the face of the life-threatening attacks, Dr. Pradeep Kumar took it upon himself to give a befitting burial to his colleague with the help of two ward boys, at a cemetery in the city in the middle of the night.
He did it despite the windscreen of the ambulance in which the body was taken to the cemetery was smashed and the casket was not spared either. He literally carried his colleagues’ body to the grave and buried him using only one spade which was available at the cemetery. Putting his life in danger to honour a departed colleague is indeed a high degree of sacrifice
Cristian Fracassi and Alessandro Romaioli (Italy)
CEO and Founder of ISINNOVA along with his teammate and engineer Alessandro Romaioli built prototypes on Isinnova’s 3D printers, to create the parts of the use-and-throw valves for ventilators which were desperately needed in Italy and provided it to them for free helped many patients survive the terrors of this pandemic.
Sanjay Pandey, IPS (DG Home Guards, Maharashtra)
IPS Sanjay Pandey went beyond the call of duty as a police officer to open the first relief camp in the Mumbai city suburbs for migrant workers whose livelihood were disrupted by the lockdown to contain the pandemic. His noble and benevolent initiative of bringing together corporates and other stakeholders to provide essential supplies is highly commendable.
Vikas Khanna (Manhattan, USA)
Even from his residence in Manhattan, New York chef Vikas Khanna’s heart still moves to serve the lonely and underprivileged here in India. It is not only his pro-activeness in creating the Feedlndia Initiative for the marginalised such as transgenders and patients of HIV-AIDS amongst others but, he dropped everything in the effort to provide food for millions over 135 cities in India. While food remains at the top for our basic necessities he also distributed 400,000 slippers, three million sanitary pads, and two million masks to the poor.
KK Shailaja (Minister of Health, Kerala)
Her extraordinary efforts and pro-activeness in dealing with the pandemic by following experts and scientific advice helped countless Keralites survive the terrors of this pandemic, serving as an example for governments of other states & countries to follow.
Harmony Foundation is an international NGO which works in the realm of Social Justice. It was founded in October of 2005, with its raison d’être, being the establishment, and strengthening, of social cohesion among various communities, and to work towards the benefit of all, without discriminating against any religion, creed, sex, or their origins.
Instituted in 2005, these Awards, celebrate and commemorate the memory and legacy of Mother Teresa, canonized a Saint by Pope Francis in the Vatican.
Previous recipients of this prestigious Award have been – Nobel Laureates Ms. Malala Yousufzai, H.H. The Dalai Lama, Mr. Kailash Satyarthi. They have also awarded the likes of the current Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo, former Prime Minister of Malaysia Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, former Deputy Speaker of the United Kingdom’s House of Lords Baroness Caroline Cox, and many others.