On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said receiving the Lokmanya Tilak National Award was a special occasion for him.
He was speaking at a gathering in Pune alongside Sharad Pawar of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). While he was delighted to be present, PM Modi also admitted that he was experiencing some emotion. “This is a memorable moment for me,” he stated. Lokmanya Tilak is the symbol of our struggle for freedom.
“The role of Lokmanya Tilak in India’s independence, his contribution cannot be summed up in a few words or by illustrating a few incidents,” the PM said, invoking the freedom fighter, adding, “I pay homage to him and all our freedom fighters. I am honoured to be on Maharashtra soil. This is the land of Chhatrapati Shivaji and Jyotirba Phule.”
Prime Minister Modi added that he has decided to donate the prize money from the award to the Namami Gange project.
“I have decided to donate the prize money to the Namami Gange project. I want to dedicate this award to 140 crore people of the country,” he said.
“The vision of ‘Vyavastha Nimaan Se Sanstha Nirmaan’, ‘Sanstha Nirmaan Se Vyakti Nirmaan’, ‘Vyakti Nirmaan Se Rasthra Nirmaan’ is a roadmap for nation building. India is following this roadmap diligently,” PM Modi added.
The Award was constituted by Tilak Smarak Mandir Trust in 1983, to honour the legacy of Lokmanya Tilak.
With this award, PM Modi became the 41st recipient of the award. The former recipients include luminaries such as Shankar Dayal Sharma, Pranab Mukherjee, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Indira Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, NR Narayana Murthy, and E Sreedharan, among others.