Since 1977 the Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation gives awards named after Jamnalal Bajaj annually. This year, the “Award for Outstanding Contribution in the Field of Constructive Work” was given to Shashi Tyagi, the founder of GRAVIS.
Jamnalal Bajaj was a freedom fighter, social reformer, humanitarian and a devoted follower of Mahatma Ghandi. He was born in 1889 and in 1920, at Jamnalalji’s request, Gandhiji accepted him as his ‘fifth’ son. In Gandhiji’s own words: “Jamnalalji surrendered himself and his all, without reservation. There is hardly any activity of mine in which I did not receive his full-hearted co-operation and in which it did not prove to be of the greatest value..he placed at my disposal his ample possessions. He became a guardian of my time and health. And he did it all for the public good.”
Jamnalalji took active part in the Non-Co-operation Movement in 1921, the Salt Satyagraha in 1930 and the individual Satyagraha at Nagpur to uphold the honour of our National Flag. Furthermore, he led the Jaipur Satyagraha in 1939. In all he was imprisoned for over five years.
Rural Development is one of the most important activities of the Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation. Over the years, these activities have brought rural people together with the objective of involving them in the activities of common interest. The Foundation, together with its partners, contributes substantially to the funding of these programmes. They support the participation of the beneficiaries.
The foundation describes Shashi Tyagi as a “straight forward, simple, devoted social worker and an educationist” and underlines the great objectives of GRAVIS, like the work for vulnerable and most needy groups, the development of self-reliant rural communities, the community involvement and sustainability of GRAVIS’ work and the blend of traditional wisdom with modern sciences.
*by Lisa, Volunteer