By Matters India Reporter
Mumbai: Jesuit Father Irudya Jothi, director of Udayani (awakening), bagged the “Social Activist Award” at a function in Mumbai, western India.
“I am extremely happy to receive an award called Modi Making Of Developed India from the Economic Times Now group along with World Corporate Social Responsibility groups at Taj Land Mumbai,” Father Jothi told Matters India after received the award on February 17. “The award was in the Individual category as social activist, he added.
Dr. R.L Bhatia, head of the World CSR day award who organized the event along with Economic Times Now and others said their full-time researchers came out with 1284 names after strenuous research among those innovatively contributing to the development of India. The jury then selected 184 individuals and companies for the final list of this award.
Father Jothi got the award in the individual capacity as ‘Social Activist Award.’ He was the only one in this category who was awarded a trophy and a citation.
He also received another award “World CSR Congress Awards” on February 18 at the same venue, Certificate of Merit for Udayani. “We were selected I guess for our holistic approach in our intervention among villagers,” he added.
Father Jothi said they were selected for ‘Kolkata NGO Leadership Award in November 2017. “When we received it we were delighted and wondered how we were selected for such a prestigious award,” the Jesuit priest said.
The latest awards have made Udayani activists and women beneficiaries “extremely happy” and proud, Father Jothi said.
“Now when we are awarded for Social Activist and World CSR Congress award, our joy has multiplied. Honestly, we neither expected it nor worked for it,” he clarified.
The young Jesuit priest said he always encouraged his people telling them, “If Jesuit run schools and colleges are the best in the country, there is no reason why an NGO run by the order should not be the best. Such words enthused my activists and colleagues.”
The priest said he dedicated the recognitions to the Dalit and Tribal women “who give me strength and courage to move ahead. I thank the Lord who has been guiding us through all the risks.”
He also noted the awards came at a time when their women’s groups were registering as NGOs and hope to become independent in future. “This CSR recognition is very helpful for their future support and sustainability,” he added.
Udayani has programs such as ‘small savings’, ‘unity and peace-building’, ‘Rights-based Work.’ It played a key role in the making of legislation, National Food Security Act. It takes up ‘environmental issues’ by opening nursery and solar housing and solar lantern assembling projects. It also celebrates “Women’s Day’ and ‘Human Rights Day’, besides, taking an active part in tackling some of the corruption locally in the administration.
Udayani Social Action Forum is the social outreach arm of the Calcutta province of the Society of Jesus. It works with schools, parishes, spiritual centers, international immersion groups, NGOs, and other organizations to foster a faith that does justice. It also serves as a link between the Jesuit social apostolate in India and the priorities of the Jesuit Conference of the South Asian Assistancy.