Noted industrialist Rahul Bajaj today voiced concern over “weakening” of institutions like Parliament and the judiciary that he feels is holding back the country’s progress. “A major reason holding back our country in my view is the weakening of credible institutions from smaller to the biggest like Parliament and the judiciary itself. In the 1950s and 1960s, we built some (institutions),” Bajaj said during his address at an award function here.
He observed that the country has seen weakening of some of these institutions in the past 50 years.
Later, on the sidelines of the event, the former Rajya Sabha member told PTI: “I have seen what happens in Parliament. It depends on the kind of people we elect, it depends on the government.” He received the Lifetime Achievement award from President Pranab Mukherjee at the event organised by CII here.
The President also felicitated three grassroots women leaders with the CII Foundation Woman Exemplar Award 2017 for their extraordinary contribution to society.
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Jayamma Bandari, Manika Majumdar and Kamal Kumbhar were conferred the awards in education, health and micro- enterprise, respectively.
Poverty forced Jayamma to drop out of school. Later, domestic violence made her turn to sex work to earn a living. She fought against all odds to set up Chaithanya Mahila Mandali (CMM), an NGO dedicated to empower women and protect children of sex workers from harassment, trafficking and sexual abuse and ensures their formal education.
Despite poverty, family violence and discontinued education, Manika became West Bengal’s first trained barefoot community mental health counsellor. In partnership with local urban bodies, she and her team from Anjali, a Kolkata-based NGO, runs a community mental health kiosk to provide de- stigmatised, accessible and affordable mental health care to marginalised individuals and families.
Daughter of a daily-wage labourer, Kamal walked out of poverty and a failed marriage to set up Kamal Poultry and Ekta Sakhi Producer Company. Her ventures have enabled 3,000 women to run successful poultry farms, doubling their households’ incomes in the drought–prone region of Osmanabad, Maharashtra.