"A new era of friendship should begin between the people of India and Bangladesh. If friendship and goodwill between a culturally united India and Bangladesh are enhanced, a new era of development will begin."
Raha Naba Kumar
Snehalaya's Annual Awards Distribution Ceremony recognises the contribution of our volunteers and staff as well as the social workers who inspire and motivate us.
This year our Bapu Award, in memory of the late Shyamkant More, was given to Head of the Mahatma Gandhi Ashram in Bangladesh for the last 35 years, Hon. Rah Naba Kumar. The Ba Award was presented to Mrs Tandra Barua, a social worker from Dhaka. Ashok Hiralal Joshi of Bansi Maharaj Mithaiwale firm, who completed his centenary this year, was honored with the centenary award.
The Youth Inspiration award, a new award this year in memory of the late Vishal Ahire, was given to Nitin Sonawane, who has delivered the message of peace and harmony to the world by cycling and walking through 46 countries over the last five years.
The Late Prof. Gopalbhai Gujar Seva Puraskar award is given to a Snehalaya staff member and activist who demonstrates innovation, talent and continuous dedication. This year, Meenakshi Pawar of our Family-Based Care and Shahid Shaikh of our Childline teams were selectedfor thsi honour.
During the awards ceremony, a documentary highlighting our Sadbhavana Cycle Yatra was released along with our 2020-21 highlights video. A booklet on the Sadbhavana Cycle Yatra and Pravas Sadbhavanecha, written and edited by journalist Bhushan Deshmukh who participated in the cycle yatra was also published.
Speaking about his award and Snehalaya's work, Rah Naba Kumar said: "India's contribution to the liberation struggle of Bangladesh is invaluable. We, the people of Bangladesh, will always be indebted to it."
Cheif guest and world hiker, Yogesh Mathuria shared his travel experiences, including hair-raising tales of thieves in Africa and India had entertained him by sharing their motives and he also stressed how we can experience the power of love and non-violence through walking.
Nitin Sonawane also shared his experiences of different countries on foot, saying: "When I had no money in my pocket, I traveled all over the world. I met good people everywhere, and I got along well with all with my good intentions. Buddha and Gandhi, if these passports are in the heart then people all over the world accept them with love and faith".