Hindu American Foundation Invites Applications for the First Annual Shri Narayana Guru Award for Outstanding Leadership in Social Reform in India



In its effort to fight the caste based discrimination, the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) in collaboration with the Global Human Rights Defence (GHRD), a leading non-governmental organization based at The Hague, Netherlands, is now accepting nominations for Award for Outstanding Leadership in Social Reform in India. The award is dedicated to the 19th century sage and social reformer, Shri Narayana Guru of Kerala, India.

From HAF's press release on the First Annual Shri Narayana Guru Award:

The award seeks to recognize individuals or organizations working for social upliftment and human rights advocacy for ‘Harijans’, a common term of self-identity used by Hindus considered to exist on the bottom rung of the Hindu social order (or caste).

The specific areas of work the award seeks to recognize include women's rights, health, education, economic upliftment, social equality, religious equality, and justice.

The Award is dedicated to the 19th century sage and social reformer Sri Narayana Guru, a member of the Ezhava community in Kerala, who was revered for his deep spiritual attainment, humanistic philosophy and commitment to social reform and equality. He taught the ideal of ‘One caste, one religion and one God for mankind’ and stressed social self-upliftment by the so-called lower castes.

‘Despite its abolition legally, caste based discrimination is still a reality in India where 160 million are excluded from society and denied basic human rights.’ stated S. Sital, Chairman of the Global Human Rights Defence (GHRD). ‘It is our hope and that of our friends at HAF that this Award will recognize and support modern social reformers who embody these qualities of Shri Narayana Guru in their work for social justice.’

The award, along with a $10,000 prize, will be presented in November in India.

The last date for filing applications is September 1, 2008.

The application form, mailing address and other details can be found here – Nomination for First Annual Shri Narayana Guru Award.