We just hosted the Godfrey Phillips Bravery National Awards 2013 on May 1. Holding this event has always been overwhelming by virtue of the opportunities it throws-of meeting extraordinary individuals who have placed others concerns over their own, internalising the whole thought of courage and bravery and reflecting on the conformist approach that most of us have, knowingly or otherwise.
Through the beautiful journey of bravery over the past twenty years, we have seen bravery change its forms as per the societal makeup to fit within the context. When bravery commenced, it had a singular manifestation; that of physical superiority. Our awards therefore were only in physical category. With the social wave rising against evils like dowry, child marriage and such issues, we instituted the awards on social act of courage. Another wave was brought in by Sabrina Lal, Jessica Lal’s sister who single handedly shook the entire justice system to get justice for her sister. To recognise her contribution and that of other similar people, towards a person’s belief in one’s own ability to conquer hardships, Bravery instituted the Mind of Steel award.
The emancipation of women, the achievement of equality between the sexes, is essential to human progress and the transformation of society. Without fundamental changes in the attitudes and values of individuals and in the underlying ethos of social institutions full equality between women and men cannot be achieved. With this thought, women’s empowerment was brought to the fore and Amodini award was instituted. These awards were essentially meant to appreciate people who uphold the cause of women’s empowerment.
The Social Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to individuals who have made a lifelong and significant contribution to the nation and is presented only at the National Awards.
Bravery Award’s philosophy is ‘Conscience in Action’ and aims to make values of courage, of integrity, compassion and selflessness important in the society that suffers from extreme cynicism and greed. Bravery creates awareness and advocacy on various social issues and also recognises individuals and organisation working on the issues The initiative is working towards changing the mindset towards social stigmas and issues and most importantly propagating the role of the common citizen through ‘I can be Brave too, I can make a change” – Be Brave .