New York: Senior Congress leader, Oscar Fernandes, has been bestowed with the Nelson Mandela Award in recognition of his efforts for promoting minority rights.
The prestigious Nelson Mandela Award Minority Empowerment
award was presented to Fernandes by Dr Charles Steele Jr, a
prominent civil rights activist and CEO of Southern Christian
Leadership Conference, the Atlanta based organisation
co-founded by Martin Luther King, Jr.
The award, which commemorates the sacrifices of Nelson
Mandela who suffered imprisonment and various forms of
repression to champion for freedom, is given to individuals
and organisations in recognition of outstanding achievements
in promotion of minority affairs.
"In today`s world we can progress as a civil society
only when we have an inclusive approach and recognize each
other`s strengths," Fernandes said in his acceptance speech at
the awards ceremony held at the United Nations Church Center.
"This creative energy of different communities, when
pooled together can lead to fulfillment of purpose and life,
and also shall bring about a wonderful harmony in society," he
said. The ceremony was attended by many dignitaries and
community leaders from the diaspora.
"When I talk of the responsibility of the majority
community I must say that there devolves upon the minority
community a responsibility to not unduly feel insecure,"