Who will be the first Chingari Award Winner?

Chingari Trust, an organisation set up by two remarkable women activists from Bhopal from their Goldman Prize money, invites you to nominate deserving candidates for this year’s Chingari Award for Women Against Corporate Crimes.
Starting this year, the Chingari Award will be given annually to a woman activist who has taken up the cause of a community waging a battle against corporate criminal activity in India. The award consists of a citation, a trophy which would be a replica of the statue in front of the Dow-Carbide factory in Bhopal (of a mother fleeing the poisonous gas with one child in her arm, while the other clings to her receding figure) along with a Prize amount of Rs. 50,000/-.
What makes this award unique is that it has been instituted by two members of the all-women survivor group “Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationary Karamchari Sangh”, Rashida Bee and Champa Devi Shukla, from the prize money they received for the Goldman Environment Prize 2004. Despite the fact that both gas affected women are sole bread earners of their family and face severe health problems, they chose to give away the entire sum of money given in their personal names, to set up the Chingari Trust. The award is one of the activities that the Trust has instituted, along with a livelihood project for women survivors of the disaster and subsequent chemical contamination, and a health care programme for children born with congenital defects to gas affected parents.
The award has been instituted with the sole purpose of bringing to limelight the struggle of women who have pitted themselves against corporate crimes and whose lives are till now unsung and unnoticed. Chingari Trust believes that an award can inspire and give necessary impetus to a movement. Though the Trust has chosen to give the award to an individual rather than an organization, the guiding inspiration here is a people’s movement. The award will be kept non-political, non-sectarian, and in keeping with secular ideology. It will salute the dedication, invincibility and tenacity of women who have not given up hope.
This Award is expected to highlight the growing need for corporate accountability to be established in a variety of spheres, even as it reminds the world that we cannot afford to have more Bhopals in the name of development.
The following criteria may be kept in mind while nominating potential prize winners for the Award:
* A woman campaigning against corporate crimes [and/or government, incidentally] * A woman taking up the struggle in a remote part of the country, especially from rural India
* a woman who put in a sustained struggle – at the time of nomination, there should be at least five years of struggle waged
* A woman, who along with others, brought about changes in a company’s behaviour or the lives of community due to the struggle waged in a democratic manner
* a woman who is well-respected and supported by her community/collective
* a woman who has conducted her work at great personal risk and hardship
* a woman whose current work would be significantly impacted by receiving the Award
* a woman whose work is not affiliated or associated with any political parties, which is non-sectarian and secular
* a woman who could provide significant inspiration to others around the country
A Jury of extremely eminent women will select the winner each year, by first shortlisting the number of potential winners to three from all the nominations received and then visiting these three women and their work personally.
The process for submitting nominations for the award is now open and we invite you to send in the duly filled in nomination forms (attached), before May 15th 2007 to:
(Via email): chingaritrust@gmail.com
(Via post): Chingari Trust, #44, Sant Kanwar Ram Nagar, Berasia Road, Bhopal.462018. Phone: 0755-2747500.
We request you to please send us the form filled in English or Hindi only and to kindly use your own resources to get forms in other languages to be translated into English or Hindi. If you have translated the filled in form from any other language, we would appreciate receiving the original form too, though we do not have the capacities to get the nomination translated into English or Hindi.
Only the three shortlisted candidates will be contacted by Chingari Trust. We appreciate your cooperation and support extended to Chingari Trust in this regard.
Download the application form here (Word document)

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