Manama, June 3 (BNA):
His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa patronised today, in the presence of His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa and His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister, a ceremony held at Isa Cultural Center to honour the winner of 2013-2015 Isa Award for Service to Humanity, Prof. Achyuta Samanta, from Odisha, India, for his efforts in social care and education.
On arrival, HM the King was welcomed by Deputy Premier and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Isa Award for Service to Humanity, Shaikh Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa.
After the National Anthem was played and some Holy Quran verses were recited, HM the King delivered the following keynote speech:
“In the name of Allah the most Gracious the most Merciful,
“Prayers and Peace be upon the Messenger of Allah,
“Your Highnesses, Excellencies, and distinguished guests,
“Today, we witness with you the outcome of the second round of the Isa Award for Service to Humanity, as it continues to take promising steps in different arenas, and to excel as an Arab and global award in the field of human service.
“The Award transcends borders and has no regard to restrictions of sect, geography or nationality: its ultimate goal is encouraging humanitarian services.
“These are the very values and principles that His Highness the late Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa (may Allah rest his soul in eternal peace) believed in, based on His Highness’ humility and closeness to his people.
“His Highness’ achievements in the name of humanity were a testament to his spirit, and brought both him, and his country, the world’s appreciation and respect.
“Those achievements acted as an incentive to every person striving to work for the benefit of humanity and to alleviate suffering anywhere.
“Such initiatives have also always inspired us, as the people of Bahrain, to become an example of coexistence and brotherliness, on the basis of the strong bonds in our global social sphere; and to live in openness through reinforcing the basis of tolerance and cooperation.
“Having said that, we express, on this occasion which gives us such pride, our utmost thanks and appreciation to all individuals and institutions that have worked towards the service of humanity.
“We received with great pleasure the nominations of global pillars of human service, from individuals and organizations of different nations, to be candidates for the second round of this Award.
“The nominations were reviewed by a panel of international experts, who chose to give the award to a humble, self-made, academic from the friendly Republic of India.
“This person has based his services to humanity on constant diligence, as he strived to find effective initiatives that would eradicate poverty, hunger, and illiteracy, while working on providing the less fortunate with job opportunities and a better standard of living.
“His initiative grew to become one of the biggest in Eastern India, offering free state-of-the-art education and accommodation on an independent campus. This initiative involves thousands of children and young people from the poorest families, to become a unique, unprecedented achievement and an example of giving and selflessness. So, tributes go to Prof. Achyuta Samanta for this pioneering accomplishment.
“We therefore express our congratulations to Prof. Achyuta Samanta for deservedly winning the Isa Award for Service to Humanity in its second round.
“We would like to thank His Highness Shaikh Mohamed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Board of Trustees, for his efforts; praising, in this regard, his effective role and continuous achievements, as well as his close relationship with His Highness the late Amir.
“We would also like to extend our appreciation to their Excellencies, the board members and the judging committee, for the efforts they have exerted, and for their consultative discussions that upheld the criteria of fairness and objectivity, while observing the aforementioned values which are reflected in the choice made.
“We ask the Almighty Allah for the Isa Award for Service to Humanity to become an unrelenting asset and a sustenance to the scope of services to humanity within the Kingdom of Bahrain and the wider world.
“We also hope for this award to become a lasting tribute to the principles and accomplishments of our late beloved leader, the father of the people of Bahrain: His Highness Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa; may Allah rest his soul in eternal peace.
“May Allah’s peace be with you all.”
Deputy Premier and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Isa Award for Service to Humanity Shaikh Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa then delivered a speech in which he expressed his pride in HM the King’s kind gesture by allowing him to chair the board of trustees of the Award for the second time.
He said the Award was initiated by HM the King in memory of the late Amir of the Kingdom of Bahrain, HH Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al-Khalifa, so as to commemorate his sincere and outstanding efforts in serving humanity.
Shaikh Mohammed added that the late Amir had accomplished great achievements for humanity in Bahrain and established kind relations with everybody, highlighting the great contributions of the late Amir in the political, economic, social fields.
He stressed that the late Amir’s humanitarian work had gained him and Bahrain international acclaim, and stimulated everyone seeking to serve humanity and alleviate the sufferings of human beings everywhere.
He affirmed that the Award reflected the distinguished qualities of HM the King and the Bahraini people, noting their tireless efforts in serving humanity and spreading values of consensus, tolerance and fraternity among all human beings, wherever they are.
The Deputy Premier asserted that the jury of the Award had exerted tremendous efforts to review the nominations, initiatives and projects dedicated to serving humanity within full transparency and fairness.
He said the Jury decided, unanimously, to grant the second Isa Award for Service to Humanity to the founder and Director of the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), Prof. Achyuta Samanta Kalinga, for his pioneering and outstanding efforts in saving thousands of children, belonging to various ethnicities and religions, from poverty, homelessness and deprivation and opened up horizons of hope, work and production.
He credited HM the King for the success of jury’s work, praising his constant follow-up and sound directives.
He expressed hope that the Award would remain a beacon of humanitarian work.
After that, a documentary on the life of late Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa was presented regarding his work in charity and humanitarian relief.
Then, member of the second edition of the Isa Award for Service to Humanity and Director General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Dr. Jack Diouf delivered a statement in which he expressed pride in HM the King’s patronage of the Award distribution ceremony, and constant follow-up regarding the Jury’s work.
He praised the humanitarian values embedded in the Award, which, he said, reflected the HM King Hamad’s love to the late Amir and appreciation of his landmark humanitarian initiatives.
He added that the Award proved the distinctive features of the Bahraini people, including openness, tolerance and respect for humans regardless of their race, ethnicity, religion or identity.
Through the Award, HM the King has planted the seeds of understanding, peace and good among humans all over the world.
He also extended utmost thanks and appreciation to Deputy Premier Shaikh Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa for his constant support.
Then, a documentary on the life and accomplishments of the laureate Prof. Achyuta Samanta was screened.
Later, HM the King honoured Prof. Achyuta Samanta, the winner of Isa Award for Service to Humanity, for his efforts in the fields of social care and education.
Prof. Achyuta Samanta delivered a speech in which he expressed honour in being granted the Award by HM King Hamad.
He extended sincere thanks and appreciation to the great people of Bahrain for the efforts exerted to eradicate poverty and support marginalised communities.
He added that the Award would be a catalyst for him to carry on his humanitarian work in serving humanity.
He dedicated the Award to all poor and destitute children all over the world.
Senior Royal Family members, Speaker, Shura Council Chairman, MPs, Chairmen of parliamentary committees, members of the Board of Trustees of the Isa Award for Service to Humanity, governors, senior officers of the BDF, Interior Ministry and National Guard, heads of diplomatic missions, editors-in-chief of newspapers, presidents of charity and social organisations, university students and guests attended the ceremony.