Indira Gandhi prize conferred on former Brazlian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva

The President of India Pranab Mukherjee conferred the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development on Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, former President of the Federative Republic of Brazil at a function organised in Rashtrapati Bhavan today.

''This prestigious award celebrates the legacy of the late Indira Gandhi as an untiring crusader for global peace, universal disarmament and a new international economic order,'' the President said, adding, ''Indira Gandhi would be remembered for her untiring efforts at maintaining cohesion, unity and enhanced economic co-operation among developing nations.''

Mukherjee described the former Brazilain President as an outstanding champion of the developing world. During President Lula's presidency relations between India and Brazil steadily progressed and the seeds were sown of a close partnership in the IBSA, BRIC, G-20 and BASIC, he said.

The prize has been awarded to Lula for his outstanding contribution to the cause of eliminating hunger and promoting inclusive growth in Brazil, for his advocacy of stronger ties among the developing economies and for his signal contribution to the cause of the India-Brazil partnership, the President said.

The Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development is awarded annually to a person or organisation without any distinction of nationality, race or religion, in recognition of creative efforts towards enlarging the scope of freedom and enriching the human spirit. It consists of an award of Rs25 lakh and a trophy with a citation.

Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said: ''Indira Gandhi led India with admirable vision and courage through some forbidding challenges in the fields of security and development. While she was a fierce guardian of India's unity and integrity, she was equally an ardent advocate of the well-being of the least privileged sections of society. Her words and her deeds reflected her abiding concern for the poor and the underprivileged and she championed their cause with a rare intensity. She was often ahead of her times in seeking a peaceful world, a just international order, equitable development and sustainable progress.