Bala Vikasa founders get Meritorious Service Cross

Bala Vikasa founders get Meritorious Service Cross
Highlights

The founders of Kazipet-based Bala Vikasa Social Service Society, Bala Theresa Singareddy Gingras and Andre Gingras were honoured with prestigious ‘Meritorious Service Cross’ by Canadian monarch.

Kazipet: The founders of Kazipet-based Bala Vikasa Social Service Society, Bala Theresa Singareddy Gingras and Andre Gingras were honoured with prestigious ‘Meritorious Service Cross’ by Canadian monarch.

It is the second highest civilian award and an important part of the Canadian Honours System. Meritorious Service Decorations (Civil Division) are given to recognise remarkable contributions in different fields of endeavour, from advocacy initiatives and health care services and humanitarian efforts.

Governor General of Canada Julie Payette presented the award to Bala Theresa and Andre Gingras at a ceremony at Rideau Hall, the official residence and workplace of the Governor General in Ottawa, the capital of Canada, on Tuesday, on behalf of the Canadian monarch.

Bala Theresa, a native of Reddypalem in Warangal, married to a French-Canadian Andre Gingras, 48 years ago and moved to Canada. 40 years ago, the couple founded a charity organisation SOPAR in Canada and 26 years ago Bala Vikasa in India.

“The ‘Meritorious Service Cross’ decoration is a recognition to their dedicated social service, which impacted lives of over four million rural poor covering 6,000 villages in India over the past four decades,” said the society executive director S Shoury Reddy, giving details of the award given to the society founders, to presspersons in Kazipet on Wednesday.

Bala Vikasa and SOPAR supported 2,20,000 women, 1,600 orphans given education, 15,000 widows empowered, 400 government schools improved, promoted model villages and organic farming. Support also given in setting up 800 water plants, sinking 6,500 bore well, constructing 450 overhead tanks and desilting 840 tanks, he said.

Bala Vikasa is known for innovative development initiatives and creating models for NGOs and governments in carrying out capacity building programmes. Development professionals from 68 countries across the globe visited its People Development Training Centre here to undergo training.

Bala Vikasa International Center (BVIC) is established in Hyderabad to strengthen the CSR initiatives of corporate companies and also incubate social entrepreneurs from across the country. The community development projects are being executed in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Chhattisgarh, Shoury Reddy added. On Wednesday, Bala Vikasa members gathered at its headquarters and celebrated the achievement of its founders. Similarly, thousands of beneficiaries in hundreds of villagers across Telugu states are gearing up to celebrate the occasion.

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