New York, Sep 7 (Zee News): Senior Congress leader, Oscar Fernandes, has been bestowed with the Nelson Mandela Award in recognition of his efforts for promoting minority rights.
The prestigious Nelson Mandela Award Minority Empowerment award was presented to Fernandes by Dr Charles Steele Jr, a prominent civil rights activist and CEO of Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the Atlanta based organisation co-founded by Martin Luther King, Jr.
The award, which commemorates the sacrifices of Nelson Mandela who suffered imprisonment and various forms of repression to champion for freedom, is given to individuals and organisations in recognition of outstanding achievements in promotion of minority affairs.
"In today's world we can progress as a civil society only when we have an inclusive approach and recognize each other's strengths," Fernandes said in his acceptance speech at the awards ceremony held at the United Nations Church Center.
"This creative energy of different communities, when pooled together can lead to fulfillment of purpose and life, and also shall bring about a wonderful harmony in society," he said. The ceremony was attended by many dignitaries and community leaders from the diaspora.
"When I talk of the responsibility of the majority community I must say that there devolves upon the minority community a responsibility to not unduly feel insecure," Fernandes said.