A very prominent event in Maher’s life in last six months is the presentation of the Nari Shakti Award to it at the hands of India’s President. It was the first time Maher’s work was recognised in the highest portals of government. Though the award is individual, I regard it as a due recognition of efforts of all Maherites- Maher friends, staff, benefactors, children, women, the press and almost everyone who supported Maher’s cause directly or indirectly.
Through this Word, I thank them all and hope that their bond with Maher will grow stonger in years to come. A string of awards and felicitations has followed the conferment of the Nari Shakti Award. I wish to thank all who thought Maher deserved these honours. I feel happy accepting them since it helps Maher to reach even larger population where a tear or two needs to be wiped. However Maher is blessed with many a gem who deserves such kudos.
One of them is Hirabegum Mulla, Maher President, who was this year’s recipient of the FICCI Ladies Organisation Award. I congratulate her on this distinction and wish her all the best in her dedication and leadership of Maher. For Maher investment in its own people is of utmost importance. With this in view, it sent three of its associates -Dr. Pradeep Sharma, Trustee, Dr. Hemant Devasthali, Hon, Advisor , Mr. Sandeep Mhetre, Social Worker, accompanied by two of Maher friends- to attend a program at the Hartheim Institute, Austria.
The participants found the program to be one of the most rewarding ones they ever attended. The association of Maher with the Hartheim Institute will shortly complete 10 years. Much of the credit for this happy fellowship between the two institutions goes to Dr. Wolfgang Schwaiger, a long-time Maher friend and a man of unlimited energy and affection. I thank him for everything he is for Maher. Maher has always followed ethical standards in financial matters. But now this is on record. GuideStar India, the rating agency, which certifies NGOs based on their level of transparency and public accountability after a rigorous scrutiny of documents, has awarded Maher the NGO TransparencyAward 2016. This has certainly been a matter of great satisfaction.
The untimely demise of Jenny Draxlbauer at the age of 32 has shocked every Maherite and left them wondering why such precious life was snatched away from them so abruptly. She will always be in my prayer. It is always a matter of great pleasure to see Maher children and women wean away from Maher support and settle in life independently on their own. Yet it is equally important for Maher that they retain their bond with Maher and be with Maher in further accomplishing its goals. Kiran, the association of ex-Mahermates, has decided to meet more often and further consolidate itself. I wish them all best. Maher is in its 20th year. Next year in February it will complete two decades of its social commitment. Yet there are many more miles to go. In that journey we will need to be helped and I am sure the help will always be at hand.