Not a politician, a sportsperson or an entertainer--the eighth CNN-IBN Indian of the year (IOTY) was awarded to the activist group Stop Acid Attacks (SAA) last night. SSA is an active campaigner-organisation to prevent acid attacks on women and to ensure the rights of and justice for survivors of these attacks.
An NGO run by a four-member team - Sapna Bhavnani, Alok Dixit, Anurag Dwivedi, and Ashish Shukla - the organisation works as a bridge between survivors and the society.
The SAA has forced the government to act against acid attacks by approaching the Supreme Court several times on behalf of acid attack victims. As the SAA points out, it's not an NGO, and nor does it wish to be one.
The lifetime achievement award was given to late Justice JS Verma, former Chief Justice of India. Justice Verma, a distinguished judge, died earlier in 2013. As the chairman of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), he left his mark on, amongst other achievements, the laws governing rape with the recommendations for sweeping reforms made by a commission headed by him.
For the first time, the jury, chaired by the eminent jurist and former Attorney General of India Soli Sorabjee, selected a person for posthumous recognition for his invaluable service to the nation. Soft-spoken and affable Verma was one of the most respected public figures of his time.
Here's a list of the other winners of the Indian of the Year awards:
CNN-IBN Indian of the Year, 2013 - Politics : Arvind Kejriwal
Former Joint Commissioner in Indian Revenues Services and currently a politician, Arvind Kejriwal has been declared the CNN-IBN Indian of the Year 2013, in the Politics category. In a matter of just months, Kejriwal has gone from jointly leading India’s anti-corruption movement to becoming a successful politician. A true trendsetter in Indian politics, Kejriwal pulled off a stunning political debut just 13 months after forming the Aam Aadmi Party. Not only did he help rout Congress in the Delhi assembly elections, his political party went home with 28 seats, just six short of majority.
CNN-IBN Indian of the Year, 2013 - Sports: PV Sindhu
Pusarla Venkata Sindhu is new star of Indian Sport. Like Saina Nehwal, she is also a disciple of Pullela Gopichand. She was trained at Hyderabad's Gopichand Badminton Academy and is supported by Olympic Gold Quest, a not-for-profit foundation that identifies and supports Indian athletes.
On 10 August 2013, Sindhu became the first ever Indian woman to win a medal in singles at the World Championships (India's first singles medal since Prakash Padukone won bronze in 1983). She broke into the top 20 in the Badminton World Federation rankings which were released on September 21, 2012. She is also ranked three in the BWF Junior Rankings. She is 19-year-old and one of the most promising athletes in South Asia.
CNN-IBN Indian of the Year, 2013 - Business: Rajiv Bajaj
The 42 years old Rajiv Bajaj is considered to be one of the most promising and successful businessmen who reinvented the automobile major Bajaj in India. Currently, the MD and CEO of Bajaj Auto Ltd, he is the eldest son of India's leading industrialist Rahul Bajaj.
CNN-IBN Indian of the Year, 2013 - Entertainment: Kapil Sharma
Kapil Sharma stood out owing to his unique brand of cheeky, sometimes self-deprecating, steering mostly clear of trashy talk and adult jokes to emerge as the most watched funny man on Indian television with 'Comedy Nights With Kapil', which has today become a show that every big movie star wants to be seen on. His 'Comedy Nights with Kapil' is a hit show on Colors. He is a self made superstar among the stand up comedians. His humour cuts across all ages and liked by all generations.
CNN-IBN Indian of the Year, 2013 - Public Service: ADR & Lily Thomas
The Association for Democratic Reforms and Lily Thomas took up the task of tackling what had become a serious blot on our democratic system. It was on the basis of a writ petition filed by them that the apex court ruled that lawmakers have to quit if they are convicted of a crime.
CNN-IBN Indian of the Year, 2013 - Special Achievement 2: Deepika Padukone
Bollywood's latest superstar, Deepika Padukone got the award for reinventing herself as a leading lady with acting chops; and for delivering a slew of hits in 2013, including Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Chennai Express and Ram-Leela.
Starting with Cocktail in 2012, Deepika Padukone delivered 5 hits in a row, including Race 2, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Chennai Express, and Ram-Leela. The actress displayed a shrewd eye for picking box-office friendly films, and made her presence felt in each of the hits. She has become Bollywood's first leading lady to have 4 back to back Rs 100-crore hits in the same year.
CNN-IBN Indian of the Year, 2013 - Outstanding Achievement 1: Leander Paes
Leander Paes continued to defy age as he battled on in World Tennis. Not only did he join a select band of players to appear in 50 Davis Cup ties, Paes became the only man to win a grand slam after his 40th birthday when he won the US Open with Radek Stepanek. Paes has got the award for his sheer longevity.
CNN-IBN Indian of the Year, 2013 - Outstanding Achievement 2: Ramakant Achrekar
When Sachin Tendulkar retired from all forms of cricket in November 2013, his frail looking coach, Ramakant Achrekar was at the stadium to watch the final match of his most famous disciple. A Dronacharya and Padma Shri awardee, Achrekar is a perfect example of our age old Guru-Shishya tradition.
Updated Date: Dec 26, 2013 10:25:18 IST