Mumbai: Patricia Mukhim, Editor, The Shillong Times was conferred the O.N.E. India award – 2014 for her contributions to national unity through her untiring writings and engagement in different capacities. The award was given to Mukhim on December 29 at Veer Savarkar Sabhagruha, Mumbai by Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister of State for Home.
The programme was presided over by Dr. Mohammed Majeed, CMD of Sami Sabinsa group, Bengaluru. ‘My Home India’ gives the O.N.E. India award every year to an outstanding achiever who has worked on sensitizing the rest of India about North eastern states. O.N.E. stands for ‘Our North East’. Hence “O.N.E. India” symbolizes the unity of India despite the diversities. The Award carries cash prize of One Lakh Rupees (INR 1,00,000) and a memento.
It may be mentioned that Mukhim is member National Security Advisory Board, and the Indian Institute of Mass Communication’ & founding member of ‘Shillong We Care’, an organization that campaigned vigorously against militancy in Meghalaya.
‘My Home India’, founded by veteran activist Sunil Deodhar is an NGO working on spreading the message of national unity across country with focus on North East states of India. He spoke about journey of My Home India through various initiatives over last 9 years and its helpline for north east people which has helped hundreds of people in distress outside the North East.
Thanking MyHomeIndia Mukhim said she accepts every award as a milestone before carrying on with her task. She lauded the efforts of MyHomeIndia for its pioneering efforts in spreading the message of unity and integrity and urged the national media to also give due attention to problems of the North Eastern states.
Dr. Muhammed Majeed a former non-resident Indian and a pioneer in patenting Ayurveda products who has set up a state of the art laboratory in Bengaluru spoke about how Sami labs harnesses research for bringing benefits of Ayurveda to the world. He pointed to the potential of the North East in contributing to the business of medicinal farming and how this in turn could generate employment for the region.
Addressing a packed and attentive audience, MoS Home, Kiren Rijiju spoke of the difficulties in doing journalism in India’s North East and appreciated Patricia Mukhim for her tireless and campaign against militancy and extortion. “North East is a region of difficult terrains and difficult circumstances as well. I admire anyone who can consistently write on issues that affect the region without flinching,” Rijiju said, adding that although he is meeting Mukhim face to face for the first time he has been reading her for a long time.
Rijiju mentioned the upcoming policies for developing tourism in North East India and other development projects. He also recalled efforts of My Home India since last 9 years in trying to connect the North East with the rest of India. The MoS was vocal in attributing most of the problems of the North East to the failure of state politicians and their propensity to blame Delhi for their own failures.
“We should remember that India is a large country and we should not look at different parts of this country from Delhi. Rather we should look at Delhi from the different borders of this country.” Rijiju stated.
Earlier Mr Sunil Deodhar who founded MyHomeIndia welcomed the audience and outlined the objectives of his NGO. He also informed the audience about previous awardees, who included MC Mary Kom for sports and PT Jamir for spreading Hindi in Nagaland. Deodhar himself speaks several tribal languages including Khasi, very fluently.