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Binayak Sen, Bulu Imam presented Gandhi Award

Binayak Sen and Bulu Imam -- were presented with the International Peace Award by the Gandhi Foundation here for their "humanitarian work and their practice of non-violence".



London: Noted Indian human rights activists - Binayak Sen and Bulu Imam -- were presented with the International Peace Award by the Gandhi Foundation here for their "humanitarian work and their practice of non-violence".

The event in the Committee Room of the House of Lords was chaired by Lord Bhikhu Parekh, Emeritus Professor of Political Philosophy at the Universities of Westminster and Hull.

Doctor-activist Sen, who was charged with sedition by the Chhattisgarh government and was later granted bail by the Supreme Court of India, is scheduled to speak at the University of Edinburgh tomorrow at an event titled "Imprisoned for speaking out in India - with Dr Binayak Sen". He is accompanied by his social activist wife, Illina Sen.

The award was created in 1998 by Surur Hoda and Diana Schumacher with the support of the foundation`s president, Lord Richard Attenborough, director of the Oscar-winning film, `Gandhi`.

The award honours individuals and groups who have advocated and practised Gandhian non-violence but who have received little recognition for doing so.
Patrons of the Foundation include Lord Navneet Dholakia and journalist Mark Tully.

The Gandhi Foundation described Sen as "a Bengali paediatrician, public health specialist and activist, and the national Vice-President of the People`s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL)".

It added: "He originally started working as a paediatrician extending health care to poor people in the rural-tribal areas of the Chhattisgarh state, doubling up as a human rights activist.

"While working with the state on health sector reform, he strongly criticised the government on human rights violations during the anti-Naxalite operations advocating non-violent political engagement instead".

Jharkhand-based human rights activist Bulu Imam is the convenor of the Hazaribagh chapter of INTACH since 1987, and has been involved in various campaigns.

The foundation said: "Bulu Imam comes from one of India`s most distinguished families which has produced a steady stream of intellectuals over the past two centuries".

"His great grandfather Nawab Syed Imdad Imam was given the title Shams-ul-Ulema or Poet Laureate by the British in the late 19th century and his grandfather Syed Hasan Imam was President of the Indian National Congress in 1918".
Instituted in 1998, previous winners of the International Peace Award include Indian actor and social activist Shabana Azmi (2006).

Setting out its aims, the Foundation says: "The Gandhi Foundation exists to spread knowledge and understanding of the life and work of Mohandas K Gandhi. Our most important aim is to explain and demonstrate the continuing relevance of Gandhi`s insights and actions today".

PTI

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