Press Release - 2008

iCONGO presents third Karmaveer Puraskaar at the Right Every Wrong Conclave

New Delhi: November 26, 2008:

The third KARMAVEER PURASKAAR®, national awards for social justice and citizen action took place today at Satyagraha Mandap, Gandhi Darshan, RajGhat. November 26 every year is pledged to be recognized as the National Social Justice and Citizen Action Day to rekindle the spirit of our constitutional pledge. It was adopted this day in 1949 when the nation was announced as a Republic.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Jeroninio Almeida, Founder and Chief Volunteer, iCONGO said, “In a country of almost 1.2 billion Indians we have many awards for movie stars and other achiever awards launched by tobacco, FMCG, media and beverage brands as marketing campaigns but we are yet to recognize the Real Life Unsung Heroes who believe that it is better to light a candle than curse the darkness by leading change. He further added “Karmaveer Puraskaar is given to change dreamers & doers who practice Philanthropy for social justice.”

KARMAVEER PURASKAR is being instituted by iCONGO-Indian confederation of NGOs, the representatives of people sector and social justice through citizen action movement in India. This is to recognise individuals who have been pivotal for leading change beyond their business by being committed on individual levels to work on social issues. The awards are given to individuals for their contribution to promote social justice and citizen action who are chosen from various sectors and this year the focus is on ‘people from Government, Businesses, and Media’.

The shortlisting of the screened entries is carried out by an expert panel from iCONGO comprising representatives from across areas of work and past awardees based on a process set and created by MERCER and Grant Thornton. MERCER and Grant Thornton are International Audit firms.

The recipients of the Karmaveer Puraskaar 2008 include:

  • Lifetime Achievement Karmaveer Puraskaar - Maj. Gen. Raghubir Singh Pannu
  • Global Indian Karmveer Puraskaar – Dr. Venkat Pullla and Dr.Sailesh Rao
  • Real Wealth Creators For The Communities - Rajendra Joshi and Vipin Sharma
  • Lifelong Fight for Social Justice Through Citizen Action - Pamela Gale Malhotra
  • Government Citizen Karmveer Puraskaar - Syeda Hameed
  • Media Citizen Karmaveer Puraskaar-
    • Print Media - Umesh Anand and Rita Anand
    • Film maker- Mainstream - Pritish Nandy
    • Filmmaker on contemporary Issues - Bhavna Talwar
    • Documentary film maker - Nitin Das and Akanksha Joshi
    • Short Film maker –Swati D’Souza, Sehej Mantri, Aalap Deboor and Sheetal Bhan
    • Author - Vandana Shah
    • Literary Consultant - Mita kapur
  • Corporate Citizen Karmaveer Puraskaar
    • Corporate Citizens for Holistic CSR Initiatives – CEO-Ajay Bijli, CSR Head- Deepa Menon
    • Corporate Citizens for Holistic Media Initiatives- Chairman- Indu Jain, Director- Pooran Pandey
    • Corporate CEO’s Foundation – Ashok Kurien
    • Corporate Executive Citizen - Meera Sanyal
  • Civil Society Karmaveer Puraskaar
    • Disability - Divya Arora
    • HIV – Dr Ashok Rau
    • Community Welfare - T. K. Mathew
    • Fund Raising - Surat Sandhu
    • Education, Health and Empowerment - Shobha Murthy
    • Women Empowerment and Child labour - Nusrat Naqvi
    • Animal Welfare and Environment - Nigel Otter
    • Cancer - Harmala Gupta
    • Care for the Elderly - Sailesh Mishra
    • Social Communications and Campaign Strategist - Meenakshi Madhwani
    • Social Venture Mentoring - Varun Sahni
    • Social Entrepreneurship/Transformation - Rejendra Misra
  • Student Citizen Karmaveer Puraskaar - Inir Pinheiro
  • Artistes 4 Change karmaveer Puraskaar
    • Dance - Geeta Chandran
    • Music – Bobby Cash, Gautam Ghosh and Ritika Sahni
    • Theatre - Lushin Dubey and Arvind Gaur
    • Mainstream Actress– Kajol
  • Young Social Entrepreneur Citizen - Meghna Agrawal and Madhusudan Agrawal
  • Professional Citizen Karmaveer Puraskaar - Madhu Bhatnagar and Shrenik Rao
  • Kids 4 Change – Aradhna Chhachhi and Diwakar
  • Young Creative Citizen - Ambar Prakash

November 26th is the day the citizens of India adopted the constitutional pledge in 1949 and is now promoted by iCONGO as the National People’s Socal Justice and Action Day. Next year is the 60th year of adopting the pledge and on the occasion, iCONGO would be launching a mammoth signature campaign to have the GOI, an appeal addressed to the President, Prime Minister and all citizens serving in Government" to announce this day as the national social justice and citizen action day.
The Karmaveer Puraskaar is given out at the Right every Wrong Conclave every year which is a National Forum for Social Justice and Citizen Action. Every year eminent thought leaders and concerned citizens with constructive opinions from India and overseas gather to discuss social issues like Poverty and marginalisation, Corporate Social Responsibility, Responsible Media, Climate Change, Child rights, Animal Rights and other social justice issues and understand the need for a citizen movement to come together as one and pledge to try and right every wrong.  This year’s theme is about Citizen ACTION for ELECTORAL REFORMS.

About iCONGO

iCONGO is a people sector movement encouraged and mentored by eminent and concerned volunteers and citizen thought leaders from government, businesses, civil society, academia, media and student bodies who have decided to stand up and speak out. We are independent of any government, ideology, economic interest or religion and our purpose is to selflessly be and lead the change and try to analyse, campaign and take action to protect causes wherever rights, justice, freedom, fairness and truth are denied.  We are collective hub of humane, responsible and accountable NGOs/CBOs (The people sector) working on all social justice issues and also the voice of the citizens. The core charter is to encourage citizen action through the people sector for social justice by mainstreaming social initiatives. We work with citizens to sensitise them not to just give money but to get involved understand the cause and advocate to be the change and that is our “mission mantra”.
On the other end of the spectrum we train NGOs not to just chase money but to get people involved as fundraising is not about money but creating a movement with supporters who become advocates to build a long term ecosystem of credibility and public trust for the people sector and sustainable development to RIGHT every WRONG.

About NNFI

National Network for India (NNFI) has been established with the aim of helping those individuals and groups working to improve governance process, by providing a platform for sharing of ideas and learning from each other’s successes in order to improve the extent and effectiveness of interventions. The objective is good governance.

Over the years NNFI has either initiated or supported campaigns aimed at transparent and accountable governance. Their e-network has grown to about 700 direct members and outreach to several lakhs across India and abroad. They have developed a strong bonding with several youth groups who are ready to take forward our mission to decriminalise politics. They have achieved a high degree of visibility and respect through prudent, thoughtful and non-controversial approach to our interventions.

NNFI is a registered Trust with a Board of Trustees of eminent citizens to steer the activities of NNFI. The trustees have ultimate control over all the initiatives of NNFI. The Board decides the issues on which executive bodies will function. Policy making remains with the Board of Trustees.


'In order to further highlight the issue, iCONGO has partnered with organizations such as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Regional Office for South Asia for the conclave. UNODC has been actively involved in promoting issues of good governance through its programmes and initiative's on anti human trafficking, especially pertaining to strengthening law enforcement, providing victim support and building public/private partnerships. For further information on UNODC, please visit www.unodc.org/india or email to pinky.pradhan@unodc.org

About ISS

The Institute of Social Sciences, the result of an intellectual quest to provide socially relevant and activism-oriented research, aims to study contemporary social, political and economic issues, with an inter-disciplinary perspective. The Institute makes its research findings and recommendations available to government bodies, policy makers, social scientists and workers’ organizations so as to widen their options for action. Advocacy in the area of local governance is another main concern of the Institute. It monitors public policy, takes up relevant research and engages in consistent advocacy. The Institute has since its inception in 1985 sought to bring to the centre stage the issue of participatory local self-government, people centric development and democratic governance