Delhi Metro rail chief Elattuvalapil Sreedharan and former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee were honoured with the 12th SIES Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati National Eminence awards at a function here.

Other recipients of the award included Chandrayaan Director Mylaswamy Annadurai and Sanskrit scholar and Jnanpith award winner Satya Vrat Shastri.

The awards, constituted by the South Indian Education Society (SIES) are presented to eminent personalities annually for their lifetime contribution in the fields of public leadership, community leadership, science and technology in memory of late Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham Shankaracharya Chandrasekharendra Saraswati.

While Mr. Somnath Chatterjee was honoured for public leadership, Mr. Sreedharan was presented the award for community leadership; Mr. Annadurai for his contribution to science and technology while Mr. Shastri received the award for global promotion activities of Sanskrit.

Mr. Chatterjee could not be present in person to receive the award last night as doctors had advised him rest, the SIES said.

However, the leading parliamentarian in his message, which was read out at the function held in Shanmukhananda Hall, said he would be utilising the cash component of the award in enriching the library and the text book bank of the Girls’college at Bolpur in West Bengal, where most of the students are from rural areas.

“To promote over all growth of the country we need value based education and also we need our politics to be governed by ethical content,” the former Lok Sabha Speaker said.

“Democracy rests on active people’s participation in the affairs if the nation and it is duty of all to strengthen our democratic system, guided by ethical values in all our activities and endeavours,” Mr. Chatterjee added.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Sreedharan said he would be utilising the cash award for the charity trust which he had started in the name of his mother to help poor girls in their education, marriage and medical expenses, besides orphans in many institutions.

Mr. Annadurai said, after Chandrayaan I project, he had two important missions to be accomplished -Chandrayaan II and meeting the students and youth across the country.

He said, “ For students, a goal of team spirit and harmonising all the teams could lead to definite success in any nation building endeavour.”

The 79-year-old Sanskrit scholar, who is a visiting professor in six international universities, said, “Sanskrit has proved to be the mother of all world languages and wide research has showed that all languages have originated and are also inter-linked with Sanskrit.”

All the awardees received a cash prize Rs 2.5 lakh each, along with a citation and a silver lamp.

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