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Kalam asks leaders to put nation before themselves

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President Abdul Kalam presents the National Communal Harmony Award to Rabindra Nath Upadhyay of Assam in New Delhi on Wednesday.
President Abdul Kalam presents the National Communal Harmony Award to Rabindra Nath Upadhyay of Assam in New Delhi on Wednesday.

National Communal Harmony Awards, Kabir Puraskar presented

New Delhi: Octogenarian social activist from Assam Rabindra Nath Upadhyay and Delhi-based Institute for Socialist Education were presented the National Communal Harmony Awards for 2006 by President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam here on Wednesday.

Social activist from Uttar Pradesh Rambabu Singh Chauhan was conferred the Kabir Puraskar for his outstanding contribution to promoting communal harmony.

The National Communal Harmony Awards comprise Rs. 5 lakh for an organisation and Rs. 2 lakh for an individual as well as a citation, while the Kabir Puraskar carries Rs. 2 lakh and a citation.

Mr. Upadhyay is a Gandhian who played an active role in the freedom movement and is now working in the communally disturbed areas of the northeast.

The Institute for Socialist Education, headed by its founder and former MP Shashi Bhushan, has been championing the cause of secularism and integration.

Thirtyfour-year-old Chauhan, who has been deeply inspired by the life of Kabir, has undertaken a `padayatra' from Hathras to Agra to promote national integration. He acted boldly to secure justice for a Muslim woman who had become a victim of rape.

Addressing the function, Mr. Kalam read out a Hindi poem he wrote especially for the occasion. Titled `Shahanshil Bharat, Shahanshil Sansar' (Tolerant India, Tolerant World), the verse calls on the citizens to be united and asks leaders to put the nation before themselves. Present at the function was Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, who also headed the jury of the awards. PTI


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