Press Information Bureau
Government of India

26 January 2006
  Ministry of Home Affairs  

  16:24 IST  
  The Ramkrishna Mission, West Bengal will receive the National Communal Harmony Award 2005 in the ‘Organization’ category and Ms. Hema Bharali of Guwahati, Assam in the ‘Individual’ category.

The Ramkrishna Mission (Belur Math), West Bengal, established as a spiritual organization in early 20th Century, has been preaching the divinity of man through the universal teachings of God regardless of one’s religion thus upholding the doctrine of universal brotherhood, unity, harmony of religion, spirit of tolerance and National Integration. The mission, which has established over 119 branches across the country, is engaged in several charitable and philanthropic activities.

Ms. Hema Bharali of Guwahati, Assam is an octogenarian Gandhian, distinguished freedom fighter, front ranking leader of Vinoba Bhave’s Bhoodan movement and eminent social worker who fought for the cause of social upliftment of the people at large. She has worked for peace during disturbances in Assam in 1960, helped the panic stricken people of Tezpur and adjoining areas of Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border during Chinese aggression on India in 1962 and participated in relief works for earthquake affected people in Lakhimpur district in 1980. She has been engaged in rural development, prohibition and in rural development, prohibition and removal of social discrimination, welfare and empowerment of women & children, national integration, peace and non-violence.

The National Communal Harmony Awards were instituted in 1996 by the National Foundation of Communal Harmony, an autonomous organization set up by the Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs for promoting communal harmony and national integration. The award had been instituted with a view to demonstrating due appreciation and recognition by the Union Government of the efforts of individuals and organizations/institutions for promotion of communal harmony and national integration in a sustained manner over a sufficiently long period of time. In addition to a citation, the award carries a cash award of Rs.5 lakh and Rs.2 lakh in the organization and individual categories respectively.

The earlier recipients of this award have been - Shri Asghar Ali Engineer (1997), Maulana Wahiduddin Khan (1998), His Holiness Shri Jagadguru Dr. Tontada Siddalinga Mahaswamiji (2001), Begum Syeda Naseem Chisti (2002) and Acharya Mahaprajan (2004) in the ‘Individual’ category. Qaumi Ekta Trust (1997), Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan (1999), Bhakti Sahitya Shodh Sansthan (2000), the National Youth Project Trust (2003) and Akhil Bharat Rachnatmak Samaj have been conferred this award in the ‘Organization’ category.