TRIBUTE TO THE SHARE AND CARE FOUNDATION -- (Extensions of Remarks - December 07, 2006)
* Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the Share and Care Foundation for their charitable work in India. Their annual gala was recently held at the New Jersey Performing Art Center in Newark, New Jersey on Saturday, November 4th. I was pleased to attend that evening. This event marked the kickoff of their forthcoming Silver Jubilee of helping the challenged, especially women and children, in the fields of education, improving healthcare and social uplifting. They have also worked in emergency situations like earthquakes, floods, the tsunami, and September 11, etc. The majority of their work is carried out by volunteers who are professionals or entrepreneurs.
* Mr. Speaker, I would like to specially commend Dr. Ketki Shah who has been closely involved with the Share and Care Foundation. Dr. Shah, a Diplomate, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, is an experienced Psychiatrist with specializations in Psychopharmacology and Addiction Psychiatry. She is a low keyed humanitarian with the sole purpose of helping people who need help. She attended a global women's conference in Geneva to promote peace in the world. Her work including field visits during emergencies like earthquakes and the 2004 tsunami are remarkable. Her work as a chairperson of the medical committee is directly correlated with over ten million dollars of medical equipment and medical supplies that have been sent to India. This has generated tremendous benefit, especially for the people who are challenged and need our attention. She has demonstrated that excess and unuseful resources of one society can be diverted for the betterment of another society.
* Dr. Ketki Shah's selfless work has earned the goodwill of many, especially those who are also involved in humanitarian work. This year, humanitarian Shabana Azmi and her husband Javed Akhtar appeared on stage in a riveting performance that highlighted the career of Shabana's father, a renowned poet and a freedom fighter. Shabana Azmi, leading star of Indian Cinema, is an outstanding social activist, a passionate advocate of human rights, and a prominent humanitarian. Her work in each of the areas has been exceptional and has earned her a long list of awards, recognitions and medals including Padma Shri, one of the prestigious recognitions in India.
* She was one of the sixteen women to whom tributes were paid by President Mitterrand of France in 1989 on Bicentenary celebrations of International Human Rights. In 1993, she was invited to Cape Town to present ``The News maker of the year award'' to President Nelson Mandela. She has been appointed the United Nations Goodwill Ambassador on Population and Development. She was selected to Rajya Sabha by the President of India. On October 26, 2006, she was the first Indian to receive a prestigious Gandhi Peace award presented at the House of Commons, London. Previous recipients of this award include Nobel Laureates: Honorable Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
* She had lead march of 4 days for communal harmony from Delhi to Meerut. Her heart goes to the economically challenged for whom she undertook a 5 day hunger strike and as a Chairman of Nivara Hakk, she has managed to get alternative land for slum dwellers. Her struggle for the poor in India has now resulted in the construction of 30,000 homes under a tripartite agreement among charities, a private builder and the Maharashtra government.
* She has also addressed several Universities in the USA, such as Harvard, Columbia, Berkeley, and MIT, for the need to relate communal harmony to issues of social justices.
* Shabana thrived and expanded the project ``Mijwan Welfare Society'' started by her father in Mijwan, a small ``challenged village'' in Uttar Pradesh, India where emphasis is placed on education and empowerment of women. We are extremely pleased to join hands with Shabana in this project to make a difference in one of the poorest regions with a very high infant mortality rate and birth rates, low female literacy and near absence of health and sanitation facilities. They have started 2 computer training schools, training center and ``Sewa''; embroidery projects for women.
* Shabana's accomplishments are countless and extremely commendable, however, her dedication to humanity is what makes her a special individual.
* Mr. Speaker, Shabana Azmi, Javed Akhtar and Dr. Ketki Shah are all very special individuals who have made a remarkable difference in the global community. Together they have realized the benefits of volunteerism and self-help.