Bhagwan Mahaveer Foundation was established by Shri N Sugalchand Jain in 1994 to identify, encourage and honour the individuals and institutions who are doing selfless service for the welfare of the underprivileged and the weak in our society. With a view to focus public attention on the activities of these altruistic persons and encourage others to emulate them and take up community and social services, the Bhagwan Mahaveer Foundation has instituted the Mahaveer Awards which is given every year.
The awards are given for excellence in human endeavour in the fields of Non-Violence & Vegetarianism, Education, Medicine, Community & Social Service and Women Social Entrepreneur/ Achiever with Indian values. The awards carry a cash component of Rs.10 Lakhs each with a memento and a citation.
The Foundation has ensured that the individual awardees are exempted from income tax on the cash component under Section 10 (17- A (1)) of the Income Tax Act. This enables the awardees to utilize the award money in full for the noble cause.
Nominations in the prescribed format are invited from around the country, enlisting the help of district administrators, legislators, bureaucrats, educationists, media, social workers, parliamentarians and other eminent people. Nominations are received every year from almost all the States in the country.
The awardees are decided by an eminent Selection Jury headed by Justice Shri M. N. Venkatachaliah, Former Chief Justice of India.
There are a number of individuals and institutions ceaselessly serving the weak and the voiceless in our society without seeking recognition and unmindful of any rewards. The Foundation has identified such entities and honoured them in formal functions. Eminent personalities of our country like the President of India, the Vice President of India, Governors, Chief Ministers and Ministers have given away the awards.
So far 66 awardees from 19 States and 1 Union Territory have been honoured in recognition of their very high standard of selfless service for the welfare of the underprivileged. The details are as follows:
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