Sister Dorothy Fernandes is among 70 people who will be honoured for promoting democratic and republic characteristics of the Indian Constitution. The award titled “Neelkanth Samman” will be presented on November 26, the Constitution Day, at Mavlankar Hall in New Delhi.
As reported by mattersindia.com, Sister Fernandes said she was surprised when she got a call on October 15 regarding the award. She was invited to New Delhi to receive the award. The nun, a native of Goa, says she never thought she would get an award although she has been advocating that Indians should be informed about their constitutional rights. An educationist by profession, Sister Fernandes has taught people about the six fundamental rights enshrined in the Indian Constitution, which she says, gives “very clean mandate as to how we Indians should live.” Sister Fernandes said “I feel both humble and grateful to the Almighty who continues to journey with me,” she told Matters India November 20. “It has strengthened my belief to continue to work with those who are on the margins — those who need a voice.”
The day marks the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Indian Constitution, “a significant even in the political history of our nation,” says Sanjay Paswan, patron of Kabir ke Log and a former federal minister, in his invitation letter to Sister Fernandes. The November 13 letter also says two NGOs — “Kabir ke Log” and “Centre for Dalit Studies, India Foundation”—decided to give the award to the Catholic nun for her “outstanding contribution towards democratic ethos and constitutional commitment.”