Iqbal, Gandhi Samman presented | india | Hindustan Times
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Iqbal, Gandhi Samman presented

GOVERNOR BALRAM Jakhar on Thursday presented the prestigious Rashtriya Iqbal Samman 2006-07 to noted Urdu poet Sheen Kaaf Nizam at a glittering open-air ceremony at Ravindra Bhavan in the State capital.

india Updated: Jan 26, 2007 10:51 IST

GOVERNOR BALRAM Jakhar on Thursday presented the prestigious Rashtriya Iqbal Samman 2006-07 to noted Urdu poet Sheen Kaaf Nizam at a glittering open-air ceremony at Ravindra Bhavan in the State capital.

Nizam was presented with a citation, a shawl and Rs 1 lakh. The Governor also presented the ‘Rashtriya Mahatma Gandhi Samman’ to Hardwar’s Divya Prem Sewa Mission on this occasion. Mission founder Ashish Gautam received the award on behalf of the organisation. The award carries a citation and prize money of Rs 5 lakh. 

Congratulating the awardees for significant contribution to the society, chief guest Jakhar said recognising groups like the Divya Prem Mission, which are dedicated to social causes like eradicating leprosy — is a honour for the State Government.

He emphasised the mission of ridding the families and dependants of leprosy-afflicted patients of  curse of the disease while treading on the path of Mahatma’s ‘Vaishnav Jan To ….Peer Parayi Jane Re’ was inspirational with regard to the fact that this section still remains stigmatised and marginalised in the society.

Praising Nizam’s role in enriching the Urdu literature, the Governor expressed his desire to ‘arrest’ the poet for an exclusive rendition for himself.

Thanking the State Government, Gautam said he was accepting the honour as a representative of the organisations working for eradicating leprosy from the society. He laid stress on the four qualities of samata, (equality) mamta,(affection) namrata (politeness) and Kshamta (capability) needed to serve the society.

Sheen Kaaf Nizam also regaled the audience with his thought provoking deliveries. He emphasised that poetry was not confined to any religion or language. “It is symbolic and that is why it manages to achieve instant connectivity with the soul,” said Nizam.

Speaking to Hindustan Times, Sheen said the award not only shows acceptance of fresh possibilities for the government and also burdened him with great responsibility to ‘think better and create better’.

Nizam preferred to avoid talking about alleged controversy over the Iqbal Samman. “Any award, no matter how big or small is bound to be shrouded by some kind of controversy or the other. The real challenge is to live up to the expectations of the people with which they have bestowed this award,” is what he had to say on the issue.

Interacting with the HT, Gautam said the award showed administrative sensitivity to ailing leprosy patients. “Only proper awareness among the youth can abolish the dreaded disease. And this governmental aid by way of prize will further help us in taking the required steps towards this goal,” he said. Earlier, Culture Minister Laxmikant Sharma, who presided over the function, reiterated that he has finally fulfilled his promise of organising a Mushaira and Kavi Sammelan on the eve of the Republic Day.

The event followed the award function. Culture Commissioner Pankaj Rag also graced the occasion and extended his best wishes to the awardees.