Sat Narayan Maharaj, a veteran philanthropist of Trinidad & Tobago, has been selected for this year's Bharatvanshi Gaurav Samman diaspora award.
The award, being given by the Antar Rashtriya Shayaog Nyas (ARSN), an organisation working with the Indian diaspora, will be given on December 23 at a function in New Delhi by former prime minister IK Gujral.
Mauritius High Commissioner to India Mookesswur Choonee will be the chief guest at the function, according to an ARSN release.
Maharaj, 75, is the secretary general of the Sanatan Dharam Mahasabha, the largest and most active social and religious organisation in the Caribbean.
Trinidad & Tobago is home to around 520,000 ethnic Indians, most of whom are descendants of Indians who had gone there in the 19th and early 20th centuries to work as indentured labour in the sugarcane plantations.
The Sanatan Dharma Mahasabha runs over 60 schools, and Maharaj is one of its dynamic leaders who has made valuable contribution not only in the field of education, religion, culture but the politics of the two-island nation as well, the release stated.
"Sat Narayan Maharaj is known for his selfless service to the community. He is a tireless crusader of the Indian diaspora's cause in the region.
He is a civil libertarian who has challenged and eventually forced the state to examine and remedy the instances of inequality of treatment to PIOs (persons of Indians origin)," Vijendra Mittal, convenor of the award selection committee, stated in the release.
Established in 1996, the Antar Rashtriya Sahayog Nyas's objective is to maintain close relations with the Indian diaspora and to acknowledge and appreciate their contributions by publicly honouring them.
The Bharatvanshi Gaurav Samman award comprises a cash component of cash prize of Rs 100,000, a citation and a plaque.
The first award, instituted last year, had gone to Ranjith Ramnarain of South Africa.