MUMBAI: Top achievers from different walks of life were presented the Rajiv Gandhi Awards at the 12th awards ceremony in Mumbai on Wednesday.The winnersinclude Isro chairman G Madhavan Nair, Olympic gold medalist Abhinav Bindra, industrialist-social worker Rajshree Birla, telecom whiz Sam Pitroda and Times Group MD Vineet Jain.
Isro boss Nair, who got the super-achiever award, said he had interacted with Rajiv Gandhi during the launch of an ASLV rocket two decades ago. ``The launch was a failure but Rajiv had then said: `Today we have fumbled, but not fallen flat. We shall keep trying.' He would have been proud of the Chandrayaan mission today,'' Nair said.
Others who received the award are: Shahid Kapur, Katrina Kaif (entertainment), Narendra Jadhav (education), Ramesh Chandra Agarwal (journalism), Rohit Kochhar (young entrepreneur), Krushnaa Patil, who scaled Mount Everest recently (woman achiever) and 10-year-old Avika Gor of TV serial Balika Vadhu (child prodigy). Pitroda got the award in the ``global Indian'' category, Birla for her social work and Vineet Jain was recognised as the ``best industrialist'' of the year.
Said Jain, ``Rajiv Gandhi will be remembered as a great youth icon who promoted technology in the country. He also believed in our cause and stood for the freedom of press.'' He accepted the trophy on behalf of every employee of the Times Group.
Shahid Kapoor said, ``I am just 28 years old and only five years in the profession. I grew up watching Rajiv Gandhi and I too want to do something for the country.'' He also sang ``Dhan-te-nan'', the hit track from his recently released film, ``Kaminey''.
Congress MLC Charan Singh Sapra, who organised the event, said the awards were given to only 12 persons chosen from all over the country. ``But we want our youth to emulate these personalities. Let there be more Abhinav Bindras and Vineet Jains in this country,'' he said.
Besides Kapur's Dhan-ta-nan jig, the afternoon was lit up by dance performances by filmstars Priyanka Chopra, Hrithik Roshan, Esha Deol and TV actor Hussain Kuwajerwala. Stand-up comedian Raju Srivastava got huge applause before music-director duo Vishal-Shekhar set the stage on fire with some rock music.
The function was attended by Union ministers Vilasrao Deshmukh, Subodh Kant Sahay, Kamal Nath, Jyotiraditya Scindia and MPs Rajiv Shukla, Mohd Azharuddin, Milind Deora, Sanjay Nirupam, Eknath Gaikwad and Sanjay Patil.