Accelerating social citizenry

 

Manava Seva Dharma Samvardhani (MSDS) is a Public Charitable Trust launched by Mr P. N. Devarajan and four of his friends in 1999 at Chennai. Its multi-pronged approach is targeted towards accelerating social citizenry.

 

“In order to create social consciousness, we should first celebrate. Hence, we started recognizing social entrepreneurs and celebrated their work in the form of Awards,” says Sri. P. N. Devarajan. This prompted him to institute the Sadguru Gnanananda National awards for women social entrepreneurs in 2000.

 

When social service is rendered with a spirit of love, joy, and dedication to the Divine, we find God’s signature in such acts. In fact, it is the grace and compassion of spiritual masters that inspire people to work for social causes. The sage of Tapovanam says in his unique style: “when we bring light, darkness will dissolve on its own.” This being the guiding philosophy, the awards have been instituted by MSDS in the name of one of the great sages of our time, Sadguru Gnanananda of Tapovanam, to salute women social entrepreneurs for their excellence in social work.

 

The award comprises of:

  • Citation elaborating the services and commending the work of the Awardees
  • Purse of Rs.75, 000 (Rs. 50,000 was offered until 2008)
  • Silver plaque
  • Shawl

 

The award is not just recognition, but a celebration of the great efforts of women who are the torch bearers, dispelling darkness, and ushering in hope and courage where there is despair.  The purse is given in the name of the awardees (not in the name of the organisation to which they belong) in appreciation of the work they have done.

 

While MSDS appreciates and nurtures individual initiatives, we also believe that sustainable social change can be brought about by families that work together.  The family is potentially, a powerful agent of change and hence the ‘Family Awards’ have been introduced since 2006 to honour those who have shown the initiative and teamwork to chalk out innovative solutions to resolve social problems. 

 

MSDS also introduced another award ‘Socially Responsible Corporate’, to honour individuals who head corporate houses and provide equal employment opportunities for the disadvantaged.

 


Award functions held till date

 

Year

Chief Guest

City

No. of awardees

Women

Family

Corporate

2000

Sri.G.V.Ramakrishna IAS, Former Chairman, Dis-Investment Commission, SEBI.

 

Chennai

5

 

 

2001

Dr.B.Ramamurthi,

Eminent Nuero Surgeon

Sri.D.R.Mehta IAS,

Chairman, SEBI

Chennai

6

 

 

 

His Excellency Dr. C Rangarajan, Governor of Andhra Pradesh

 

Hyderabad

6

 

 

2002

Dr.A.P.J.Abdul Kalam

 

Chennai

5

 

 

 

Dr.Nageswar Reddy,

Leading Gastroenterologist

Hyderabad

5

 

 

 

Her Excellency Smt.V.S.Ramadevi,

Governor of Karnataka

Smt.Sudha. N.Murthi, Chairperson  Infosys Foundation

Bangalore

5

 

 

2003

His Excellency Sri P S Ramamohan Rao,

Governor of Tamilnadu

His Excellency Sri Mohamed Fazal,

Governor of Maharashtra

Mumbai

16

 

 

2004

Sri N Damodharan, Chairman UTI

 

Bangalore

6

 

 

 

Padmashri Shantha Sinha, Magsaysay Award winner-2003

 

Hyderabad

6

 

 

2005

Dr. Mohan, MV Diabetes Specialities Centre (P) Ltd

Chennai

5

 

 

 

Padma Vibhushan Justice M N Venkatachaliah,

Former Chief Justice of India

Bangalore

5

 

 

2006

Mr T S Krishnamurthy

Former CEC

Chennai

3

1

 

 

Mr Y S Chowdary

Chairman, Sujana Group

Hyderabad

3

1

 

2007

His Excellency Thiru Surjit Singh Barnala, Governor of Tamilnadu

Chennai

5

2

1

2008

Dr (Smt.) Indu Shahani

Sheriff of Mumbai

Mumbai

6

2

 

2009

Mr A S Venkatesh, Past District Governor, Rotary International

Ms Ela Bhatt, Founder SEWA

Chennai

4

1

1

2010

Shri N Gopalaswami

Former, CEC

Chennai

2

1

 

2011

Mr R V Shekhar, MD, Lancor Holdings Ltd.

Chennai

2

1

 

 

 

Total

95

9

2

 

 

 

Sadguru Gnanananda Awardees and the issues they work for

 

 

 

Awardees reaction on receiving the award

 

“It was indeed a great evening and I was very happy that Jeevodaya was honoured. The work done by the other fellow awardees was also amazing. It was an unforgettable evening” —Sister Lalitha, Jeevodaya, Chennai

“I was extremely happy to receive the award in Chennai, where nobody knew about my work. This has deeply motivated me and I feel that I have got greater recognition for my work.” —Phoolbasan Yadav, (organisation) Jharkhand

 

“I am extremely glad to be a recipient of this award. It has made me realize that I need to do more service than before. I felt encouraged and motivated, when I gave the speech on behalf of my fellow awardees,”—Amutha Shanthi, (organisation) Madurai

 

 

The Sadguru Gnanananda Fellowship scheme was launched in 2010, wherein young budding social entrepreneurs were identified and offered a monthly stipend of Rs.10,000 for a period of two years.

 

“I thank you for the Fellowship awarded to me last year and as it was the first and only remuneration I received it was a breather for me. Most importantly, the leverage the fellowship gave me to seek entry for other benefits/funds/opportunities were most beneficial for SAFA as an organisation.” Rubina Mazhar, SAFA, Hyderabad

 

 

Thus these awards help the awardees get a positive reinforcement through venture philanthropy. The economic support through fellowship helps budding social entrepreneurs overcome their teething trouble and help them in replicating and expanding their activities.

 

 “Charity is like water flowing through a pipe. We should continue to facilitate social citizenry.  

 

 

 

Dal, Oil & Sugar (DOS) Scheme

MSDS propagates and initiates social work and volunteerism from households through the Dal, Oil, Sugar (DOS) scheme, by collecting these essentials from donor families on a monthly basis. DOS is collected through ten collection centres headed by socially motivated women in dispersed localities in Chennai and is distributed to 47 Non-Governmental Organisations who run homes for children and senior citizens in Chennai and its suburbs.

 

“Small is beautiful. We should remain small and reach out to many. We are like passengers in a moving train. All of us heading are towards the same direction. While we get out when our station arrives, new people get into the train. This is similar to donors. Through MSDS we did not want to prescribe, but instead provide a suggestive guidance for donors. This is why we launched the DOS programme. The habit of giving should imbibe in the family. When the family donates, the child learns from his parents to contribute. When he grows up, he becomes a donor.” opines Mr P N Devarajan

Highlights of DOS scheme:

  • Totally Voluntary
  • Creates a habit of giving and sharing in the community
  • No burden on the giver
  • Helps Social Service Organisations
  • Networks families to reach out to Social Service organisations.
  • No paper work involved & no financial accounts maintained

 

A total of 9,468 kilos of Dal, 5,052 kilos of Oil, and 11,052 kilos of Sugar are collected every year and distributed to 47 NGOs in Chennai.

 

Around 750 families contribute to DOS scheme and 8 coordinators manage the collection and distribution process. These coordinators have been volunteering for this noble cause for over 10 years.

 

MSDS takes great pleasure in honoring these 8 coordinators and recognizing them with the ‘Sadguru Gnanananda Social Citizenry Award’. This award which has been initiated this year will recognize volunteers in the social sector.

 

The awardees for 2011 are:

 

  1. Smt. Jayanthi Karthikeyan
  2. Smt .Vanjula Vasanth
  3. Smt. Chandra Jankiraman
  4. Smt . Janaki Raghavan
  5. Sri. K E Margabandhu
  6. Sri. K S Jayaraman
  7. Sri. P Subramainan
  8. Sri. R P Krishnamachari

 

 

Please join us on 12 March 2011 at Narada Gana Sabha at 10.30 A.M. to acclaim the work done by 5 social entrepreneurs and 8 volunteers.