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Namokar Mahamantra Meaning
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FOURTH MAHAVEER AWARDS – 1998
 
If there is something worse than man's cruelty to man, it is man's cruelty to animals, because animals have rarely the ability to fight back on an equal footing and what is more heinous is that such cruelty is perpetrated on a number of occasions in the name of some form of divinity or other, even though generally the crime is motivated by the desire to satisfy man's appetite for meat eating. It is this senseless cruelty which Sadhu Vaswani's Mission has been fighting from the 30's of this century. The mission was originally founded by late Sadhu Vaswani in 1930 as "Sakhi Satsang", later on became the brotherhood association, subsequently renamed as Sadhu Vaswani Mission in the year 1966. Since then its activities are guided by Dada J P Vaswani and the Mission's activities cover a wide number of fields such as education, medical relief, village upliftment, housing and propagation of
 
 
 
 

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Vegetarianism. However, it is basically identified with vegetarianism and has set up a large number of branches all over the world.Believing in the dictum "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam", the Mission has been campaigning vigorously for vegetarianism and universal brotherhood which knows no barriers and embraces man, birds and beasts alike. At their instance, the "Animals Welfare Day" is being observed annually by all educational institutions and other associations engaged in community service.
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Mrs. R. A.Vaswani,
representative of Sadhu Vaswani Mission receiving the Fourth Mahaveer Award on behalf of Mission, Pune Maharashtra for Excellence in the Field of propagation of Non-violence and Vegetarianism from Shri Krishan Kant, Vice President of India at a function held at Delhi during the year 1998.
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The Mission has been campaigning for setting up more veterinary hospitals and is also engaged in research to find out suitable vegetarian substitutes for non-vegetarian food items. Sadhu Vaswani's Birthday on the 25th of November each year is being observed as "International Meatless Day" and certain State Governments have also issued instructions for the closure of slaughter houses on that day. As we all know, vegetarianism is no longer a fad, associated with religious fanaticism, but has been accepted as a vital necessity for a healthy tension free life, particularly for those who have crossed the middle age. Infact, vegetarianism has even become a fashion of sorts with the western youth, keen on maintaining their physical and mental health. All this development the world owes to the vision of the late Sadhu T L Vaswani and his successors and disciples in the Mission carrying on his torch through the years and hopefully through the succeeding ages.
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The Mahaveer Award was therefore given up to the Mission for its selfless service on behalf of the voiceless millions in the world.
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2. SRI AVINASHILINGAM EDUCATION TRUST INSTITUTIONS
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The maxim, "each one teach one," is no longer valid for the simple reason that there has been an explosion in the number of people required to be taught; and what is more, there has been a quantum leap in the areas of knowledge which is required to be taught and assimilated. Filling this kind of knowledge gap requires a deeper, extensive and comprehensive instituionalised arrangement. This requirement has been largely met by Shri Avinashilingam Education Trust Institutions, Coimbatore, the recipients of the Foundation's Mahaveer Award for the year 1998.
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Dr. Rajammal P Devadas, Chancellor of Avinashilingam education Trust Institutions, Coimbatore, Tamilnadu receiving the Fourth Mahveer Award on behalf of the trust for Excellence in the field of Education and Medicine from Shri Krishan Kant.
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As all of us know, late Shri T S Avinashilingam, fondly known as "Ayya" to his admirers and disciples, set up this Trust to provide education to the large number of student thirsting for knowledge in Coimbatore district in particular and Tamilnadu in general. Shri Avinashilingam believed that one should not be satisfied with attaining freedom from foreign rule, as India did in 1947, but what will really add intrinsic worth to its citizens is a comprehensive system of education to make them well-rounded and disciplined. With this end in view, Shri Avinashilingam set up the Trust whose main objective was to promote liberal education and to integrate into a system of education, the concepts of science and social service, to impart spiritual, ethical, cultural and human values to the students coming under the influence of the educational institutions under the Trust and to refine and streamline curricula and teaching methods based on the best wherever these could be found in the world. In practice this has meant that the schools set up under the Trust provide a comprehensive system of education commencing from pre-primary and carrying on to the level of Doctorate and even beyond. Provision is also made for practical participation in rural development in the form of service through the National Service Scheme and a training centre for rural development. Over 3000 students actively participate in services connected with rural development and extension services. Functional education is also provided to illiterate women to help them stand on their own feet. The other activities of the Trust include provision of primary health care, nutrition, research, agricultural farming, vocational skill development, etc., Under the able leadership provided by Dr Rajammal P Devadas, Managing Trustee and Chancellor of the Deemed University, the Trust has largely succeeded in making the vision of Dr Avinashilingam come true in a relatively short time.
3. DR PRAKASH MURLIDHAR AMTE & SMT MANDAKINI PRAKASH AMTE
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Known as the "Schweitzer Couple of India", Dr Prakash Murlidhar Amte and Dr Mandakini Prakash Amte, have settled down in Hemalkasa, a remote village in the dense forest in the Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra, inhabited by one of the most primitive tribal communities.

Dr. Prakash murlidhar Amte and Dr. Mandakini Prakash Amte, Maharogi Sewa Samiti, Warora, Maharashtra receiving the Fourth Mahaveer Award for Excellence in the field of Social and Community Service from Shri Krishan Kant, vice President of India at a function held at Delhi during the year 1998.
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The service provided by the Amte couple include education to the tribals, medical assistance, treatment and eradication of leprosy, community development, rehabilitation of tribals highly endemic to Malaria. The area is also inhabited by wild animals, poisonous vipers and the like and the doctors continue to receive, for treatment, unusual cases such as injuries caused by an enraged bear. They have also established an orphanage to take care of destitute children and have succeeded in training a good number of tribals for being employed as teachers, forest guards, police man etc., Dr Prakash Murlidhar Amte is ably assisted by his wife, who is also a doctor and is particularly helpful in getting over the inhibitions and the superstitions in the tribal women. In these days of self seeking mercenaries, pretending to be engaged in serving their fellowmen, rare indeed are cases such as those of the Amte couple.


























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