Indira Gandhi Peace Prize presented to COVID-19 warriors
The Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development 2022 was, on Sunday, jointly awarded to the Indian Medical Association and the Trained Nurses Association of India as representatives of the COVID-19 warriors in the country.
Former Vice-President Hamid Ansari presented the award to Dr. Sharad Kumar Agarwal, president, Indian Medical Association, and Professor (Dr.) Roy K. George, president, Trained Nurses Association of India.
Congress Parliamentary Party chairperson Sonia Gandhi, who heads the Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust, said the award was for every doctor, nurse, paramedic and karamchari for their selfless service, unflinching dedication and perseverance in the face of adversity.
Ms. Gandhi said the award, instituted in the name of one of the most remarkable leaders of the twentieth century, aims to honour women, men and institutions that have done exemplary work in the service of humanity and the planet.
“The prize endeavours to promote the causes that Indiraji herself championed and worked for in her astonishing career,” Ms. Gandhi said.
The Congress leader added that the life of Indira Gandhi will stand out for her tremendous ability to fight against odds.
“Be it her political career where she challenged orthodoxy to introduce equity oriented, pro-poor policies; be it her fight to defeat hunger in an international environment that disliked self respecting sovereign states; be it her extraordinary work to quell divisive tendencies in India; be it her unparalleled role in the creation of a new nation to honour people’s aspirations – she was a valiant crusader of people’s causes,” she pointed out.
Ms. Gandhi said that under her stewardship India also saw the enactment and implementation of the National Health Policy, 1983, that laid the foundations for a more comprehensive and accessible health system bringing together promotive, preventive and curative health services and a vital expansion of rural health outreach.
Referring to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms. Gandhi said, it was the most devastating event that the century had witnessed, sparing no country, community or family.
“During the nightmare of COVID-19, we saw at first hand how our doctors, nurses, paramedics, karmacharis and volunteers rose to the challenge that this horrific pandemic brought upon our country and the world,” Ms. Gandhi said.
Recalling the sacrifice of the medical community, she pointed out how the fraternity battled the disease at enormous cost to themselves and their families.
“These COVID-19 warriors were all that really stood between this virus and the people,” she remarked.
Among those present included Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, Congress general secretary K.C. Venugopal, Shivraj Patil, and others.
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