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Taapsee Pannu, others awarded as lighthouses of vision, resilience and hope in COVID times

Bollywood actor Taapsee Pannu and several international luminaries were commended as lighthouses of hope, vision and resilience during the gloomy world atmosphere of pandemic-hit 2020.
Mumbai, 19th September 2020: These honours occurred at the 36th-Anniversary Global Awards for the Priyadarshni Academy on Saturday, September 19 through a YouTube live event broadcast from Mumbai. The Priyadarshni Academy is a socio-cultural organisation, which hosts these awards to honour luminaries in multiple disciplines every year. This time, they decided to continue in the same vein to serve as a symbol of resilience in the glum atmosphere.
“This is exactly the time to celebrate the iconic, extraordinary individuals who’ve demonstrated vision, action and resilience and like lighthouses in turbulent times, have shown us the way. We need their inspiration more now than ever before. That’s why we’re here, this evening”, said Dr RA Mashelkar, Chairman of the Global Awards Advisory Committee for the Priyadarshni Academy.
Awarded the Smita Patil Memorial Award, Taapsee Pannu was recognised for her commendable acting skills in a body of films like Saand Ki Aankh, Thappad, Mulk, Pink, Manmarziyan, Naam Shabana and Badla. The non-industry actor had established herself in Tamil and Telugu cinema before she turned her sights towards the Hindi film industry.
“Thank you so much for considering me worthy of this honour. I’ve realised the depth of this compliment and the responsibility of being given her name fairly late in life (as I come from a non-film, purely educational background). It’s almost surreal… I don’t think I’m anywhere near her as of now, but I would off-course, like to keep her as my benchmark and make sure that I reach somewhere close”, she said, as she accepted the award virtually from Shri Suresh Prabhu, former union minister and India’s Sherpa to G20.
Apart from Pannu, the Academy also honoured Børge Brende, President of the World Economic Forum (WEF), Jose Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Sanjiv Mehta, Chairman and Managing Director of HUL, Graça Machel DBE HonFBA, who served as the First Lady for both Mozambique and South Africa and Kamlesh Patel (Daaji), President of the Shri Ram Chandra Mission. 

“We have a galaxy of prominent super achievers who by sheer grit and determination to improve the quality of life, to improve the standards of living globally, have been working relentlessly to achieve these goals”, said Nanik Rupani, Chairman Emeritus of Priyadarshni Academy. Rupani has been associated with the academy for the longest time and has often honoured noted luminaries in the past.
The current pandemic, economic crisis and way forward for India also remained essential notes at the event.
“While this historic crisis comes with a dire economic and social outlook, there are also lessons and opportunities. In the longer term, India must continue investment in health infrastructure and ensure continuity of regular health services; it will also have to cautiously adjust spending and attract industrial investment”, said Berge, during his acceptance address.
Dr Niranjan Hiranandani, Chairman of the Priyadarshni Academy and the Managing Director of the Hiranandani Group, also took this message forward in his summary. “We have in India an opportunity that is second to none. Today, with the pharma industry taking leadership in our country, we’re hoping that the discovery of the vaccine, hopefully sooner than later, will be a big base in India and a large number of manufacturing units are waiting to see that we must be suppliers for the entire world”, the Indian billionaire entrepreneur said.
Established in 1984, the Priyadarshni Academy aims to serve the society by nurturing access to education for deserving students and providing opportunities for classical musicians and dancers. Its global awards are also called the Nobel Awards for Asia. This year, the Academy was represented on the dais by Dr Niranjan Hiranandani, Chairman of the Priyadarshni Academy, Dr R A Mashelkar, Chairman of the Global Awards Advisory Committee and Nanik Rupani and Ashish Vaid.