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Prez fetes Puttur's Swasthik, Bengaluru's Nikhiya with national child awards

DH News Service, New Delhi, Nov 14 2017, 22:28 IST

Mahesh Jadhav of Belagavi gets national award for child welfare

President Ram Nath Kovind in a group photograph with the awardees during the National Child Awards function on the occasion of Children's Day at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on Tuesday. PTI

President Ram Nath Kovind in a group photograph with the awardees during the National Child Awards function on the occasion of Children's Day at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on Tuesday. PTI

Master Swastik Padma and Kumari Nikhiya Shamsher from Karnataka received National Child Awards from President Ram Nath Kovind for their exceptional achievement in the field of scientific innovation and social work respectively, on Tuesday.

Mahesh Jadhav from Belagavi received the National Award for Child Welfare for his exemplary contribution towards helping the people affected by HIV infection.

The President conferred the National Award for Child Welfare on non-government organisations Akshaya Patra, Bengaluru and the Society for Tribal and Rural Developments, based in Chamarajanagar, Karnataka, on the occasion of Children's Day.

The award conferred on Swastik and Nikhiya carried a cash prize of Rs 10,000 each, a certificate with the citation and a silver medal. The award presented to Jadhav carried Rs 1 lakh and a citation. The national award conferred on the two non-government organisations from Karnataka carried Rs 3 lakh each and citation.

Sixteen-year-old Swastik, a science student of Vivekananda Pre University College in Puttur, Dakshina Kannada district got the national award as he developed a corrosion resistant composite material from low-density polythene waste plastic and ground granulated blast furnace slag.

His innovative work was presented at the International Science and Engineering Fair 2017 at Los Angeles earlier this year. It fetched him the Grand Award at the prestigious IRIS National Science Fair held in Pune and the Guide Recognition Award at Indian Science and Engineering Fair at Puttur.

"I feel really great after receiving this award from the President of India. This is one of the best moments in my life. It's a great day for me. The composite material that I developed is 24 times stronger than the concrete," an elated Swastik told DH.

Nikhiya bagged the award as she helped 7,700 underprivileged children by providing them with bags, books and other essential school items. She has also equipped 15 schools and colleges with laboratories for science and Mathematics through her 'Yearn to Learn' project.

Jadhav started working to give the HIV+ patients a better life and help them overcome the social stigma associated with their lives seven years ago. "Mahesh Foundation operates a Child Care home, where shelter, food, medicine and education are provided to about 40 HIV+ orphans. So far 4,000 children have benefited from the educational and nutritional support and about 3,200 HIV+ people have been positively impacted through his initiatives," the citation said.

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