(TibetanReview.net, Nov11, 2015) – Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, on Nov 9 presented the inaugural awards instituted in memory of former Indian President and top rocket scientist Dr APJ Abdul Kalam in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The guests for the award ceremony, which was held in the city’s Music Academy, included Mr V Ponraj, the Scientific Advisor to the late President; Mr TS Krishnamurthy, former Chief Election Commissioner of India; Mr DR Karthikeyan, former CBI special director, and Dr Nazeema Bagum, niece of the late President.
The awards, the Abdul Kalam Seva Ratna Awards, commemorate Dr Abdul Kalam by recognizing outstanding contributions of individuals and organisations to tree plantation, de-addiction, reviving water bodies, providing safe drinking water and creating green campuses, villages and cities. The awards were instituted by the Abdul Kalam Vision India Movement in partnership with the Madras Management Association (MMA) after the sudden passing away of former President APJ Abdul Kalam on Jul 27 at 83.
The movement decided to invite the Dalai Lama as he and former President APJ Abdul Kalam shared the same ideology of peace and prosperity. The two had met several times and had a long association in encouraging the youth to work towards an enlightened society.
In his welcome address, Mr T Shivaraman, President of MMA, said that in inviting the Dalai Lama as Chief Guest, the organizers were requesting one great leader to honour another.
In his address after presenting the awards before hundreds of people who jam-packed the hall, the Dalai Lama said understanding how to tackle our destructive emotions had given rise to the concepts of ahimsa and tolerance that had allowed India to be the only country where all the world’s major religions lived together in harmony. “I know this occasionally breaks down, but that’s because there are mischievous people who make trouble in any society,” he added.
He stressed the importance of combining the ancient understanding of the workings of the mind and emotions with contemporary scientific knowledge and development.
Speaking to the younger generation of today, the Dalai Lama said, “Those of us of the 20th century have created a whole host of problems, including damage to the environment, that has left a lot of work for those of you who belong to the 21st century to clear up. However, I believe that if we make an effort now, by the end of this century, but within your lifetimes, we could create a more peaceful, harmonious, compassionate world.”
The winners of the Abdul Kalam Seva Ratna Awards received a gold medal, a 10gm gold coin, a citation and a certificate, apart from a cash prize of Rs. 100,000.