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Recognising Social Entrepreneurs

Today, women have multiple responsibilities. They are the custodians of our culture and tradition within the family as well as visionaries and trendsetters for the society at large. It is crucial that women chalk out a path of affirmative action for themselves that will be distinctly Indian, and remaining anchored in our cultural ethos. It is pleasing to note that a growing number of dedicated women are becoming social change agents by taking up the arduous task of serving fellow human beings. What needs appreciation is the support and encouragement these women are receiving from their families in their endeavor.

When social service is rendered with a spirit of love, joy and dedication to the Divine, we find God’s signature in such acts. In fact, it is the grace and compassion of spiritual masters that inspire people to work for social causes.

The sage of Tapovanam says in his unique style, “when we bring light, darkness will dissolve on its own.”This being the guiding philosophy an Award has been instituted by MSDS in the year 2000, in the name of one of the great sages of our time, Sadguru Gnanananda of Tapovanam, to salute such women for their persistent will to dare to dream and care for others.

The award comprises of,

  • A citation elaborating the services and commending the work of the Awardees
  • A purse of Rs.75, 000 (Rs. 50,000 till 2008)
  • A Silver plaque
  • A Shawl

Sadguru Gnanananda award for excellence in social service is not only recognition but a celebration of the great efforts of these women who are the torch bearers, dispelling darkness and ushering in hope and courage where there is despair. The cash money is given in the name of the awardees (not in the name of the organisation to which they belong) in appreciation of the work done by the awardee.

While MSDS appreciates and nurtures individual initiatives, we also believe that sustainable social change can be brought about by families which work together. The family is potentially, a powerful agent of change and hence the Family Awards have been introduced since 2006 to honour those who have shown the initiative and teamwork to chalk out innovative solutions to social problems. MSDS has also introduced another category—Socially responsible Corporate—to honour individuals who head corporate houses and provide equal employment opportunities for the disadvantaged and the disabled.

The selection process of the awardees is very innovative. The previous awardees are asked to nominate one or two social entrepreneurs they know and the trustees select from the nominations.

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