Chandigarh, September 29:

Punjab Planning Department announced the winners of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Action Awards, the virtual award ceremony was presided by Punjab Chief Secretary Mrs. Vini Mahajan. During the event, which was held in collaboration with UNDPs Sustainable Development Goals Coordination Centre (SDGCC), a total of 17 winners of different categories and two special entries were awarded.

Addressing the live session of more than 200 participants, the chief guest Mrs. Mahajan said that SDG awards are a live evidence of what can be done with combined effort regardless of the daunting circumstances. Not just global international agencies such as UNDP or governments hold responsibility towards Building Back Better, but society also needs to equally imbibe and act on the principles of SDGs, she added.

Talking about the importance of SDGs, Resident Representative-a.i, UNDP-India Ms. Nadia Rasheed said, “We can’t carry on business as usual–we need innovations, solutions and new technologies to fast-track our attainment of Sustainable Development Goals.” She highlighted that remarkable development has happened in India since 2011 on Human Development Indicators but COVID-19 and consecutive lockdown has reversed this progress, but it’s the SDGs that provide us long term solution to address these challenges.

Notably, the SDGs Action Awards were given to the government departments, NGOs, individuals and corporate, who have contributed to or made efforts towards sustainable development in the state with exemplary initiatives for social and economic upliftment, environment sustainability, integration and approach of leaving no one behind.

These entries were shortlisted by the SDGCC team based on the criteria of relevance to SDGs, impact of the initiative, effectiveness of the work done and the sustainability and scalability capacity of the initiatives and then submitted to the 5 panel jury, which was set up to identify the winners. The jury selected 17 winners and two special entries, which contributed across all SDG goals and did so at a massive scale. These two special entries were awarded ‘Special Humanitarian Action Award’. The awardees of the special action award are renowned actor Mr. Sonu Sood and Dubai based Businessman and Philanthropist Dr. S.P.S. Oberoi (Sarbat Da Bhala Charitable Trust).

While, Mr. Iqbal Shah won ‘Leave No One Behind Spirit (Individual) Award’ for serving food during lockdown, Speaking Hands Foundation won ‘Leave No One Behind Spirit (NGO) for empowering deaf children, Red Cross – Infosys PGI Sarai and SAMVEDNA secured ‘Economic Sustainability (NGO) Award’ for providing shelter to patients & care-givers and Free Ambulance Service respectively, Gurdev Kaur Deol bagged ‘Economic Sustainability (Individual)” for Global Self-Help Group Farmer Producer Organization, Punjab State Council for Science & Technology won ‘Environment Sustainability (Government) Award’ for Paddy Straw and Stubble Burning Management Programme, Punjab Renewable Energy Systems won ‘Environment Sustainability (Industry) Award’ for Biomass Briquettes from paddy straw.

Similarly, Dr. Vishal secured ‘Environment Sustainability (Individual)’ for Study on Solid Waste Management, Round Glass Foundation clinched ‘Environment Sustainability (NGO) Award’ for ‘Plant for Punjab initiative’, Department of Health and Family Welfare was given ‘Social Upliftment and Welfare (Government) Award’ for Hepatitis-C management programme, while Ms. Sakshi Muwal bagged the same in individual category for her Samvaad programme.

In industry category, INFOSYS bagged ‘Social Upliftment and Welfare Award’ for Sanrachna & Paathshala initiatives, while Mehar Baba Charitable Trust bagged the same in NGO category for Women Empowerment. NABARD, Punjab was given ‘Integration, Convergence, Joint Action & Holistic Solution Approach (Government) Award’ for UGPL project, while in individual category, this award was given to The Kalgidhar Trust for rural education, in NGO category, SEWA Bharat–Punjab for Women Employment Generation and in Industry Category, CII Foundation clinched the award for Crop Residue Management Initiative.

The awardees list can also be seen at the Principal Secretary Planning Mr. Jaspal Singh, Regional Head (North) UNDP Mr.Vikas Verma and former IAS (Author & Motivational Speaker) Mr. Vivek Atray also attended the award ceremony.

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