Saturday, March 8, 2008

Venu Menon animal awards presented

The Hindu
Staff Reporter

For making a difference to the lives of animals by kindness, courage

NEW DELHI: The 10th Venu Menon National Animal Awards were presented to six individuals, two organisations and one community at a function here on Tuesday for making a difference to the lives of animals by acts of kindness and extraordinary courage.

Fred O’Regan, president of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), delivered the 10th Venu Menon Memorial Lecture on the occasion.

Vivek Menon, a member of Animal Allies Foundation and Executive Director of Wildlife Trust of India, said: “In ten years the awards ceremony has grown to be a national event of great importance among animal welfare and wildlife fraternity. This is the best tribute to Venu Menon’s memory that the foundation can hope for.”

The Venu Menon National Animal Awards commemorates excellence in animal welfare and was started in 1999.

The awards were set up by the Venu Menon Animal Allies Foundation and seek to commemorate his beliefs and keep his concerns alive. The awards are a way of recognising and rewarding those who have made caring for animals a way of life for themselves. The Tibetan Community has won the Venu Menon Lifetime Achievement Award for coming out strongly against wildlife crime and its pro-wildlife approach.

Animal activist and Secretary of the Pugmarks Society for Conservation of Natural Heritage in West Bengal, Urmila Ganguly, was awarded the Venu Menon Animal Allies Award for her contribution towards conservation and welfare of wildlife.

Shree Vardhman Jeevdaya Kendra (Gujarat) bagged the IFAW Special Organisation Award. A charitable trust, the organisation has rescued animals for over 15 years by providing medical care, running shelters and spreading awareness among people. Tribal Trackers Eco-Development Committee (Kerala) was awarded the David Shepherd Wildlife Award for being involved in curbing sandalwood smuggling . Abdul Qayuoom Khan, a wildlife guard in Bunyar, bagged the IFAW-WTI Van Rakshak Award. Bijay Kumar Sharma bagged the IFAW-WTI Endangered Species Award, while Tuhina Kahali and Saumya Uttam were awarded the IFAW Animal Action Award. Baban Prabhakar Shakhalikar won the Jury’s Special Award.

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