Tuesday, September 15, 2015

MUSINGS FROM PRIYADARSHINI KARVE: After the Zee TV channel award...

On 13 Sept, Zee Marathi TV channel telecast the ceremony for 'Unch Maza Zoka' awards 2015 for women achievers. I was one of the awardees, and I received the award for Environment category. Today, I would like to share some reflections about this experience!

Unch Maza Zoka (loosely translated - High goes my swing) was a Marathi television serial based on the life of Ramabai Ranade, a woman who struggled a lot to raise the status of women in the pre-independence Indian society. It became quite a popular serial, and when it ended, the TV channel constituted this award in its name. This was the third year of the awards.

I sort of vaguely knew about the award, but had not followed it much. I do not have a television for the last 15 years, so I never saw the serial, except for glimpses caught here and there, and snatches heard in family conversations. It was therefore quite a surprise when a couple of months ago, I received a phone call informing me that I have been selected for this honour for 2015!

The Zee TV channel team then visited to make an introductory film about the work for which the award was being given, and then the actual award ceremony took place at Thane on 2 September.

From the day the advertisements started coming on the TV channel, and also as the awardees (including myself) also started spreading the word about the award and the telecast, congratulatory messages started pouring in through various media. As my award acceptance speech, I had talked about the Sustainably SMART Pune 2030 study. I had requested people to send their suggestions and to support the study. (In case you do not know about the study, please read my MUSINGS from the previous couple of weeks).

The response has been overwhelming!

I am myself traveling out of Pune this week, so I am not totally accessible to everyone, and yet, I personally received several phone calls, and tons of text messages. The phone number and email address given during the award function have also been inundated with responses. This is in addition to other responses received via emails and phone numbers of colleagues, parents, and the facebook accounts of myself and my company. Many are congratulatory messages, some are specific suggestions for the study, and some are even offers to help financially. It has been just a couple of days since the telecast, and the messages are still coming in. I feel overwhelmed, excited, and humbled by this experience.

I have received other awards before, and have always felt rejuvenated by the response of people attending the award function. The admiration and encouragement are a great tonic to keep walking and I draw strength from these in times of challenges.

In 2011, I received a women achiever award from Mumbai Doordarshan Sahyadri TV Channel, and the response at that time was also quite overwhelming. However, this time, I actually had this new project to talk about and it is a topic that is very much in public discourse right now. So I must say that it was an opportunity that came at just the right time! I want to thank the referees of the award, Zee TV channel team, and everyone who is responding to my appeal in various ways.

What I am going to say below to end today's musings are the things that are expected to be said as an acceptance speech of any award, but I almost never do that! I always use the opportunity of having a 'captive audience' to talk about the work that I am doing at that point in time, rather than follow the convention. This does not mean that I do not feel gratitude, and I am sure that my colleagues and family knows and understands that!

I want to put on record my sincere gratitude to all my colleagues, past and present for their support and contributions. No achievements are stand alone things borne out of a single person's efforts. The originator of the idea or the leader of the team often gets the credit, but the actual work happens through the contributions of many. The role of distractors and non-believers is also important, as the arguments and challenges bring their own learnings! So I thank all of the neigh-sayers too! The support of my parents has also been vital to everything that I have managed to do so far, and will try to continue doing as long as I am able to. I also thank all my students, past, present, and future, from whose youthful idealism I continue to get fuelled in my various chases of various rainbows!




#BeModernBeResponsibleBeRespectful
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