Sachin Pilot, Member of Parliament
A special invitee to Manthan 2005 was Mr. Sachin Pilot, one of the youngest parliamentarians in India. Sitting through the entire actual award ceremony, Mr. Pilot gave an overview of Manthan initiative in e-content practices in the county. Expressing his full appreciation for the inspirational and hard work of the award winners, Mr. Pilot praised them for coming out with noble ideas in e-content for the benefit of commoners. Manthan Award has provided a right platform to those whose noble works will be duly recognized and inspired, he said. “It is a nice experience to see people coming out with ideas and translating them into real products,” Pilot stated. – Winner Manthan Award 2005
Three nominations in each category were chosen as winners for the year 2005 and the first among the winners in the 8 categories were nominated for the World Summit Award – Information Society to be held in Tunis in November 2005. There were Scientists, Policemen, Photographers, entrepreneurs, Script-writers, Government Employees, and House-Wives who vied and won the Awards., an initiative started by Khushroo Poacha (Railway employee) and his wife Fermin, is a web-based helpline for patients who need blood all over the country in emergency. This initiative has registered donors in 330 cities and caters 25-30 requests daily.

They have been running the website for the last 5 years through their personal savings. Manthan Award is the first to recognize such novel effort and in the words of Khushroo Poacha, “The Award is a real encouragement and has motivated us to continue with our effort. It has suddenly made us feel important and we think that our effort is definitely contributing to the society.

“The award is the first recognition to us in five years time since the beginning of our work and definitely this will help us a lot in our future endeavours,” said Fermin Poacha.

Prof. Anil Gupta, Padamshree
Professor Anil Gupta, IIM, Ahmedabad was one of the speakers in the Manthan Award conference cum Award gala. He is also the Jury member of the Manthan Award. He appreciated our effort and said, “There are hundreds and thousands of innovations in India and around the world, which are being discovered from time to time. They are solving day-to-day problems with simple solutions thus needs to be popularized and recognized and Manthan Award is one great step towards that.”

Mr. Gupta was of the firm believe that local knowledge and innovations need to be made accessible to people. Hence, contents and their reach are important to better lives of people. Thus more is the need to promote Indian languages. Nevertheless, Gupta felt that illiteracy, localism and language are the barriers at times. Hence, use of iconic languages, symbols, pictures, audio-video instruments, illustrations holds critical in connecting people through content generation and storage.

Sharing knowledge in multilingual, multimedia context has assumed more importance in the era of ICT and digital technology. Gupta pointed out that e-content is missing in local languages in this country, which is quite problematic in sharing local knowledge and innovations. Language is primary and no culture is comprehensible without a sound language base.

S. Siva Kumar, CEO ITC – International Business Division
Another prominent name in the corporate sector, S Siva Kumar, CEO, ITC e-Choupal venture, a successful experiment for rural generation using ICT as means, was also one of the Speakers in the Manthan Award gala cum conference. He complemented the Manthan initiative to recognize e-content in the country and emphasized on the need to connect content with resource and resourcefulness in the country, especially for rural India.

S. Ramakrishnan, Director General, CDAC, Government of India
Speaking on e-content and social development in India, Mr. S Ramakrishnan, Director General, C-DAC, said that the country’s multicultural identity augurs well for the India emerging as a knowledge economy. Mr. Ramakrishnan is the man behind the invention of Ernet and developing the countrywide portal of Development Gateway Foundation India.

A knowledge society has to address many issues and India cannot ignore them either, according to DG, C-DAC. Content is one of the issues. Making e-contents available on local languages is essence of any democracy, including India. ICT as a tool much more opportunity in this regard, asserted Ramakrishnan. The good news, according to him, is tools and fonts are available in this country in Hindi, Tamil and few other languages and within the next six months, this will be available in all major languages, Mr. Ramakrishna disclosed. He stressed the need to build some kind of public-private partnership in content issues sharing business models and other success stories. He appreciated the effort of Manthan Award and forwarded his cooperation which helped us to publish the book titled “India’s Best e-Contents 2005”.

aAQUA – Winner Manthan Award 2005
“An award like this has given us a great feeling and a wonderful experience”, said Anil Bahuman of aAQUA, a multilingual online question and answer forum in Maharashtra. aAQUA bagged the gold in the e-Inclusion category.

ToeHold – Winner Manthan Award 2005
Mrs. Madhura M Chatrapathy of ToeHold, Karnataka, thanked Osama Manzar, Chairman of Manthan 2005 for the great initiative while briefly revealing how her organization ToeHold Artisans Collaborative (TAC), based in Karnataka and its website
www.toeholdindia.comaims to take the humble generic Kolhapuri footwear to branded ‘couture’ status in international markets. ToeHold bagged the silver in the e-Business category. – Winner Manthan Award 2005
“The award is a great recognition of our efforts,” said Vinay Hinge of from Maharashtra. is a community portal for Marathi community and a cultural abode. It bagged the bronze award in the e-Culture category.

BookBox – Winner Manthan Award 2005
“The award will generate more awareness on e-content practices,” said Brij Kothari of BookBox, Pondicherry. BookBox is a ‘JukeBox” of educating and multilingual “animation-books,” for distribution on electronic and digital media. It bagged the special mention award in the e-Learning category.

Certificate in Good Agriculture Practices (C-GAP) – Winner Manthan Award 2005
“The award is a first recognition for us and our team. We want to dedicate to the farmers of our state,” said Sanjay Borkar from C-GAP, Maharashtra. C-GAP (Certificate in Good Agricultural Practices) is a course targeted towards farmers to educate them on good agricultural practices and quality systems. C-GAP bagged the gold in the e-Learning category. Mr. Borkar was highly appreciative of the initiative of Mr. Osama Manzar and his team in Manthan 2005.

Helpline on HIV/AIDS – Winners of Manthan Award 2005
“I want to give heartfelt thanks for organizing Manthan 2005 and want to congratulate and acknowledge the sincere efforts of the Manthan team. Indeed it is a very well planned opportunity created to recognize e-content practices in the country. It is a great job done,” said Ms Mridula Chandra of Helpline on HIV/AIDS, Rajasthan. Helpline bagged the bronze in the e-Health category.

Neeta Shah, Government of Gujarat
“I want to congratulate the entire team of Manthan Award for this excellent initiative,” said Neeta Shah of SWAGAT, Gujarat. SWAGAT is aimed at resolving long pending grievances of citizens at large in the state. It bagged the special mention award in the e-Government category.

ZMQ Software – Winner of The Manthan Award 2005
“It is a credible show,” commented Subhi Quraishi of ZMQ software systems, Delhi. ZMQ bagged the gold in the e-Entertainment segment for their project on World Cup Cricket.

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