Dr Mandakini Amte, co-founder of the Lok Biradari Prakalp in Hemalkasa, Gadchiroli, was honoured with the Urja Lifetime Achievement Award by the Gravittus Foundation in Pune recently.
The award ceremony was attended by social activists like Dr Baba Adhav and Dr Prakash Amte, former MP Sanjay Kakade, actress Divya Sheth, Gravittus Foundation President Usha Kakade, and advisor and senior journalist Arun Khore.
Alongside Dr Amte, other notable individuals honoured with the 'Urja Award' included Dr Milind Kamble, founder of the Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries (Industry), Indumati Jondhale (Education), former President of the Indian Medical Association Dr Avinash Bhondve (Health), World Championship gold medalist boxer Devika Ghorpade (Sports), and Asian Championship gold medalist shot putter Sachin Khilari (Special Award). The award recipients were presented with a shawl, a memento, and a sapling.
During her speech, Dr Mandakini Amte shared her life journey, expressing, "For the past 50 years, we have been continuously working for the welfare of the Adivasi community. Initially, the tribals looked at us suspiciously, but now they come to us for treatment willingly, bring others, and send their children to study. This change is heartening." She also emphasised the crucial role of volunteers in their initiative, stating, "The award itself has the word 'Urja', which means energy. This is a special award for me."
Gravittus Foundation President Usha Kakade highlighted the foundation's purpose, stating, "Our aim is to honour women's empowerment, humanitarian efforts, and the ideals of those who work tirelessly for positive change in society, providing positive energy to others through their work."