On 26 March 2022, Bharat Soka Gakkai (BSG), in association with Jaipur National University (JNU), held a ceremony to present Change Maker Humanity Awards. These awards recognize individuals who have made exceptional humanitarian contributions in the state of Rajasthan, India in the areas of education, medical and community healthcare and social services, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
BSG and JNU jointly launched the initiative on 15 December 2021. After collecting nominations, an expert jury selected 29 awardees in 16 categories. Winners in the medical and community healthcare category included Prakash Kumar Prajapati, who cremated unclaimed bodies during the pandemic; Dr. Pawan Singhal, a surgeon who operated on a great number of COVID-associated Mucormycosis fungal infection cases; and Dr. Akhilesh Jain, a psychiatrist who contributed mental health services in a COVID hospital. In the education category, Dr. Kshitiz Verma was awarded for his efforts to democratize higher education by teaching deep learning and neural networks—the latest artificial intelligence techniques—in Hindi rather than English.
The awards ceremony commenced with a traditional lamp lighting ceremony. Chancellor Dr. Sandee Bakshi of JNU described the event as being based on the shared values of JNU and BSG and a milestone in the history of Rajasthan. He stated that the award winners set an example to all.
BSG Chairperson Vishesh Gupta expressed his gratitude to the people of Rajasthan for their positive response to the initiative. “When I looked at the work done by each of the 29 awardees today, I couldn’t help but feel strongly that all of you have ably demonstrated the great power of the ‘human spirit’ and the power of a compassionate heart.”
The ceremony concluded with a cultural performance by JNU students and a rendition of the well-known classical song “Raag Malhaar” by members of the BSG Arts Division.
The award ceremony was attended by approximately 300 people and also broadcast live.