Chandigarh: A younger braveheart from Kerala, Sifiya Haneef, was conferred with the Neerja Bhanot Award in a solemn ceremony right here on Saturday.
The award was offered to her by Wendy Sue Knecht, who additionally labored with the Pan American World Airways within the ’80s and had skilled Neerja Bhanot in 1986. Knecht specifically got here right here from Los Angeles for the award operate. The award consists of Rs 1.50 lakh, a quotation and a trophy.
The award was instituted in 1990 in reminiscence of Neerja Bhanot, who saved tons of of lives whereas sacrificing her personal when a Pan Am flight from Mumbai to New York was hijacked on the Karachi airport on September 5, 1986.
A specifically constituted jury comprising three Rotarians — Sneh Popli, Manjit Kaur and Anu Dhingra — chosen Sifiya for the honour after she met the factors laid down by the Neerja Bhanot Pan Am Belief, which stipulates that the awardee must be an Indian lady who when confronted with social injustice, overcomes it with guts and grit.
Akhil Bhanot, managing trustee at Neerja Bhanot Pan Am Belief, stated: “Sifiya acquired married when she was 16 and her research have been stopped. Sadly, her husband died when she was 20. She had two youngsters by then. Sifiya wished to proceed her research, however didn’t get any help. Not keen to surrender, she took on a part-time job and resumed her research.
“After plenty of battle and realising that life was very robust not just for her, but in addition for different widows as nicely, she began spending her wage on serving to widows.”
Sifiya began a Fb web page known as ‘Chithal’ the place she wrote concerning the points going through widows.
She additionally met plenty of sick moms, children, aged folks and most cancers sufferers, amongst others. She would replace her web page on the issues these folks have been going through and get public help to resolve their points.
Right now, she helps greater than 300 households by offering them shelters, establishing bogs in colonies, distributing medicines and giving them pension, Bhanot stated.
An emotional Knecht stated: “Though a lifetime has passed, Neerja’s generosity, her humanity and her sacrifice will never be forgotten.”
“By fighting for justice, Neerja proved that you can re-write your story from being called a ‘victim’ to a ‘hero’. The message that Neerja imparted upon the world was ‘do the right thing, come what may’. This is what all of us must do. I too have been inspired to follow Neerja’s path,” she added.