Honour to ordinary
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After its successful debut last year, Sony has announced the second edition of CID Gallantry Awards, a brand extension of its longest-running crime and investigative thriller show CID. An initiative to honour acts of bravery on the part of common people, the awards encourage people to share their acts of courage and provide a platform for local heroes to interact and share their achievements at national level. Entries for the awards will be open till October 2. The jury panel comprising eminent personalities such as Air Marshal (ex-Indian Air Force director general, medical services) Padma Bandhopadhyay, Sabrina Lall (sister of late model Jessica Lall), veteran actor Farooq Sheikh and Shams Tahir Khan, editor(crime), Aaj Tak. The jury will shortlist from the entries received and selected winners will be felicitated at a ceremony in January 2011.
CID Gallantry Awards is demarcated into two categories - Physical bravery (display of bravery in saving life or property of oneself or someone else) and Social bravery (display of bravery in combating social evils like drug abuse, dowry, child labour, illiteracy, environmental pollution, corruption etc). The awards will be conferred to two brave winners each in the category of 'below 15 years' and 'above 15 years'. A brainchild of creator and producer B P Singh who has been making CID over the past 13 years, Singh says his 35-year experience in television has made him realize that television professionals can never be social reformers. "You really can't bring about a major social change. But you need to do something positive for society by creating some positive impact. There are several ordinary people who have committed acts of bravery and simply went back to their daily routine without bothering whether their act has been talked about or not. We want to honour these unsung and unrewarded heroes," says Singh, surely a silent hero behind the success of CID.
According to Padma Bandhopadhyay, there is no dearth of awards for acts of bravery. "There are National bravery awards for ordinary people and the armed forces have their own plethora of awards for soldiers. But what I like about CID Gallantry awards is that it has social aspect to it. It gives me great pleasure to be part of the jury," she adds. In a country where mainly film stars and cricketers are role models and icons, Farooq laments that achievers in science, technology, administration and education don't enjoy similar status as film and cricket celebrities do. "We need heroes from other fields or else we will become an impoverished society," he feels strongly. Television, in his opinion, is one of the biggest opinion makers. "It is a necessary evil but an opinion maker is good for any society. It is praise worthy effort to honour ordinary people who should be role models for us," he exudes.
Like Farooq, Sabrina needs no introduction. She showed immense strength and resilience in her fight for her sister Jessica Lall's murder trial. Despite several setbacks, she did not lose faith in the judiciary. Media played a big role in her fight for justice. But unlike Farooq, Sabrina is a woman of few words. "I agree with the views of my co-jury members and I am looking forward to be part of the process," she adds.
According to Sony's business head, Sony received 1,800 entries and the event was received well last year. "We expect even better response this year. CID is a big brand for us but we want to go beyond the purpose of entertainment. We want to be entertainment plus channel because television has power to make a difference," he reiterates.