President confers ‘Punyabhushan’ on Pratap Pawar

Pune, June 26 (IANS) President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday presented the ‘Punyabhushan’ award to media personality Pratap Pawar at a function here.

The ‘Punyabhushan’ (Jewel of Pune) is awarded every year to an eminent personality from the field of arts, music, culture, science, industry, social service, or sports at a special public function here.

The president congratulated Pawar for being the recipient of the award this year and said his contributions to the Indian media through the Sakal Media Group, to the industrial development of the region and to social activities were well known.

“I had the privilege of conferring ‘Padmashri’ on Pratap Pawar to recognise his contribution in various areas of public service. Through ‘Sakal’, he has played a major role in educating and awakening the masses,” the president said.

“Media plays a very important role in our democracy. It helps in creation of awakening amongst the vast multitude of masses through dissemination of information. It helps shape ideas and opinions,” he said adding that democracy is not just a government of the people, for the people and by the people. It can be institutionalized only through constant dialogue.

“The media as a whole not only keeps people informed but also performs a very crucial function of presenting ideas and alternatives in the domain of policy formulation and implementation. The media space thus becomes an important component in the fabric of a functional democracy by not merely reporting the ‘dialogue of democracy’ but also by taking an active part in that dialogue,” he added.

The president also expressed happiness that the award was conferred in the presence of freedom fighters who gave their youth to the cause of the country’s struggle for freedom.

He also appreciated the endeavours of ‘Tridal Pune’ to commemorate the memory of the martyr-trio of the Indian freedom struggle — Shahid Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru.

Rajguru hailed from Khed, adjoining Pune city, which is now named Rajgurunagar after him.

The Punyabhushan Award is announced on March 23 every year to commemorate the memory of the martyr trio of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru.

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