NEW DELHI: Eleven winners of the Times Now Amazing Indians Awards 2023 were felicitated by Union ministers Smriti Irani and Piyush Goyal at a function where Isro scientists – project director of Chandrayaan-3 P Veeramuthuvel and project director of Aditya-L1 solar mission Nigar Shaji – received a standing ovation during their felicitation.
The winners of awards this year are: Jayakumar Karuppusamy (agriculture); M Vignesh alias Sai Vignesh (animal welfare); Mamoon Akhtar (education); Amita Deshpande (environment and climate); Raj Kumar Bhatia (food management and nutrition); Sukla Debnath (girl child and women’s rights empowerment); Manjunath Ningappa Pujari (healthcare, medical and clinical assistance); Shruti Chaturvedi (rural development); Makarand Anaspure (sanitation and water); Nisha Malawat (slum care); and Yash Tarwadi (tech for good).
Speaking at the function, Irani said Isro is an organisation that does not have a glass ceiling, where capability demands and decides opportunity, and asserted that a new India is all about that.
“The standing ovation (for Shaji and Veeramuthuvel) signifies a new dawn… Today I stand here proudly on a stage that reflects the best my country has to offer. The Indians here today who are celebrated not only represent a civilisational empathy towards fellow living beings, but also represent grit, determination and grace.” the minister said.
“Irrespective of those who say that we are divided by words, ideologies, politics, we are one when it comes to our nation, we are one when it comes to the commitment of our global good, we are one when it comes to helping a fellow individual or living being, which is what makes us amazing Indians,” she said.
Speaking about the awardees, Irani cited Pujari, who received it for healthcare, medical and clinical assistance, and said, “He said he drives his auto from 6am to 9am to fund his auto-ambulance. Thereafter, he works from 9am to 6pm to fend for his family. And then he continues his work for social service. This man works 24/7 for the society. The success of Chandrayaan means much more to our country which is aspirational. From the dark side of the moon, new light was shown to the world of what we as people are capable of.”
Applauding the winners and lamenting that contributions are “often not recognised”, Goyal said, “Our amazing Indians have planted the seeds of oneness with humanity, seeds for better future for our nation to grow into a big tree.”
Speaking of food security as one of the categories of the awards, Goyal said, “While the world was concerned about starvation deaths in India during the Covid pandemic, people’s contribution helped the government double up the supply of foodgrain … Eighty crore Indians received twice their normal allocation… not a single starvation death was witnessed in India in the worst of the pandemic period.” The ‘Amazing Indians’ awardees can take the initiatives to the next level.
Shortlisted through an exhaustive pan-India screening process, the winners were selected by a jury which included former Army Chief General MM Naravane, CBFC chief Prasoon Joshi, OYO founder Ritesh Agarwal, Super 30 founder Anand Kumar, former Isro director S Rangarajan and social activist Sonam Wangchuk.
The function was marked by a special performance by tabla maestro and award-winning percussionist Anuradha Pal and her band. A special music gig was presented by Shreeranga Charitable Trust, an NGO that works with the visually impaired.

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