In the presence of Congressmen Sonia Gandhi and Mallikarjun Kharge on Sunday, former Vice President M. Hamid Ansari gave due recognition to the prestigious residential school for women, Banasthali Vidyapith in Rajasthan.
The organisation received the 25th Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award for its relentless efforts to advance peace, communal harmony, and national unity—virtues that former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi himself advocated.
The Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award, established in 1992 to honour the golden jubilee of the Quit India Movement, honours people and organisations dedicated to fostering social harmony, a sentiment that Sonia Gandhi noted is still incredibly relevant given the current political climate.
The topic has always been relevant and will continue to be so, she said.
“It becomes all the more significant over time when forces promoting politics of alienation, hatred, bigotry, and discrimination become active and receive support from those in power,” she continued.
The award is always given out on the anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi’s birth and comes with a monetary prize of Rs 10 lakh.
In a tribute to her late husband, Indira Gandhi said that Rajiv Gandhi had a strong belief that women’s empowerment was essential to achieving social progress and peace. His dedication to teaching thousands of girls at Banasthali Vidyapith is a strong reflection of his belief in the transforming power of education for women.
A spokesman of Banasthali Vidyapith named Siddhartha Shastri attributed the institution’s foundation to Pandit Hiralal Shastri, the first chief minister of Rajasthan.
Since its modest beginnings in 1935 with just five students, the institution has grown to serve approximately 15,000 female students from kindergarten to doctoral levels with high-quality instruction.
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