New Delhi: A social activist known for
her work for spastic children and a Swede corporate who spent
his post-retirement life working to bring about socio-economic
changes in Tamil Nadu`s remote areas were among those awarded
the G D Birla International awards here today.
The G D Birla International awards to people for their
contributions in different fields were given out by Vice
President Hamid Ansari.
Among the awardees are P V Dhanjayan and Shanta Dhanjayan
-- Bharatnatyam and Kathakali dancers -- who were recognized
for contribution in preserving and propagating India`s
The Dhanjayan couple are renowned for propagating the
Indian dance forms in other parts of the world and overlapping
them with international form of dances to bring fresh
innovations in their art form.
Zokhumi Vankung, an activist from the North East, was
awarded the G D Birla Award for service to humanity, for her
contribution to the cause of spastic and handicapped children
and empowerment of women by helping to create the `Gilead
"These awards seek to recognise contributions of people
in areas that were close to the heart of industrial doyen
Ghanshyam Das Birla," Ansari said in his address.
Also on the award list was Percy Barnevik, a Swede who,
after retiring from a successful corporate career in an MNC,
devoted his life and retirement funds in transforming the
socio-economic areas of Kanchipuram district in Tamil Nadu.
He has also worked to replicate his model in other
parts of India and the world.
Barnevik was awarded by the Birla Academy of Art and
Culture for his contribution to rural upliftment.
"This Award is a source of inspiration to those who make
earnest efforts, benefiting masses with their contributions to
Humanity, Rural Upliftment and associate themselves not only
in preserving but also spreading the rich Cultural Heritage of
India," Ansari said.