Among the highest paid cash awards in the country in the field of art, culture and education, the Dayawati Modi Award 2011 was conferred upon the charismatic Tibetan spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, in recognition of his lifetime contribution towards universal peace, tolerance and social justice. “We are all the same. There is absolutely no difference between us, and I urge all democratic countries to harness a culture of Ahimsa as propagated by Gandhiji who I hold in the deepest regard,” said the Dalai Lama, adding that non-violent means to achieving one’s goal is a sign of strength, not weakness.
The award that has been instituted by the Dayawati Modi Foundation for Art, Culture and Education of the Modi group in the memory of Late Smt. Dayawati Modi, was herself a great philanthropist and an educationist. “The foundation has established schools and colleges for the underprivileged. In July this year, 4,000 children were given free education. We also established Arts for India, a charity which seeks to provide free and subsidised arts education to talented students enrolled at the International Institute of Fine Arts in Modinagar,” says S K Modi, the president of the Modi Foundation. Seconding him was the His Holiness who congratulated the family for their efforts, and emphasised that women should play a more active role in the society. “The modern education system is materialistically oriented without any emphasis on warmheartedness. Women should be
given important positions in the social and political arena. With more mature female leadership comes less chance of violence. They should be empowered and given the respect they deserve. Who knows, maybe a future Dalai Lama could be a woman,” he says.