Nine prominent Indians receive inaugural Australia-India Council Special AwardsNovember 20th, 2007 - 1:23 pm ICT by admin
New Delhi, Nov.20 (ANI): Nine prominent Indians were awarded the Australia-India Council Special Awards on Monday evening, an honour recognising their exceptional contribution toward strengthening Australia-India relations.
The awards were presented to Tarun Das (business), Dr Jasleen Dhamija (art), Dr Jamshed Irani (bilateral relations), Mr O P Jain (culture), Mr Suresh Kalmadi (sports), Mr S K Misra (conservation), Dr Rajendra K Pachauri (environment), Professor Santosh Sareen (education) and Mr Soli Sorabjee (law).
An initiative of the Australia-India Council (AIC), the awards were presented at a ceremony at the Australian High Commissioner, Mr John McCarthys residence in Delhi, with several members of the Council present. The awards were presented by the High Commissioner and Mr Darren Gribble, Chairman of the AIC and a former Australian High Commissioner to India.
The Australia-India Council was established to forge people-to-people linkages between our countries 15 years ago, said McCarthy.
After over a decade of building upon the initiative, the Council wanted to express its appreciation to the extraordinary people who exemplify its goals, McCarthy added.
I congratulate each award recipient for their valuable role in fostering people-to-people relations between Australia and India, said Gribble.
Delivering acceptance of award speeches, six of the nine awardees who were present, praised the progress being made in India-Australian bilateral ties.
The two standout speeches for their brevity, simplicity and humour were that of Dr.Jamshed Irani, Chairman, India-Australia Council and Director of Tata Sons Limited, and Soli Sorabjee, former Attorney General of India and senior Supreme Court advocate. Irani said that he was not deserving of the award, and said it reflected in an essence the improving ties between the two countries in various spheres.
Sorabjee said that he was accepting the award with humility, and said that it represented for him the advances being made in bilateral legal cooperation, where India and Australia were both taking expertise on law from each other. On a humourous note, he urged former High Commissioner Gribble to do his utmost to get Australian jazz bands to India to perform. Sorabjee is a known aficianado of jazz music, and plays a lead role in organising jazz concerts and festivals across the country.
Suresh Kalmadi was another who delivered a standout speech on sporting relations between the two countries. He said the award was a recognition of the two countries attaching importance to sports, especially events relating to the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games. he recalled his joy of witnessing the Sydney Olympics and the Melbourne Commonwealth Games, and said that the 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth Games would be the best yet.
AIC Special Awards will also be presented to four prominent Indians in Chennai later this week. These include luminaries in business, sports, education, bilateral relations and community service. (ANI)
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