Five pioneering individuals who are winners of this year's Rolex Awards for Enterprise will be honoured at a prestigious event to be held in New Delhi on 27 November 2012. This marks the first time that luxury watchmaker Rolex has held the ceremony for the international philanthropic programme in India.
Eminent members of Rolex's global network will travel to India to recognize the work of these inspiring individuals: Sergei Bereznuk (Russian Federation), Barbara Block (United States), Erika CuÃ©llar (Bolivia), Mark Kendall (Australia) and Aggrey Otieno (Kenya) who have won Rolex Awards for projects ranging from marine research, revolutionary vaccine technology and tiger conservation.
Those from overseas will join ambassadors, members of the Indian government and ministries, industrialists, leaders of the corporate community and the film and cultural fraternity, to celebrate the Laureates and the spirit of enterprise that has driven their winning projects and that underpins India's success in the world today.
Luminaries scheduled to attend the event include Erling Kagge, the first person to reach the North and South Poles, and the summit of Mount Everest, and to walk to the South Pole alone. Widely recognized as the one of the greatest adventurers of our time, Kagge, a Rolex Awards 2006 Jury member, said, he connected with the spirit of the Rolex Awards – that of "reaching beyond yourself and the fact that everybody can find their own South Pole".
Vijay Amritraj, legendary Indian tennis champion, TV presenter, actor, and 2010 Rolex Awards Jury member, who will also be at the ceremony, said, "This prestigious event and award ceremony adds so much to India, and fosters greater insight into our potential as an emerging hub of proactive social change."
Also in attendance will be acclaimed human rights activist, actress and film-maker Nandita Das.Â "India is fast becoming an important destination for many events. It is a privilege to have Rolex host the Awards ceremony in India. I am sure this will further inspire many to pursue their endeavours for a larger good," said Nandita.
Subramanium Ramadorai, Vice Chairman, Tata Consulting Services, and 2012 Jury member, said that bringing the Rolex awards to Delhi in India for the first time would "ignite the minds of young people to innovate and explore beyond boundaries".
Among the other outstanding figures attending the event will be Sir Magdi Yacoub, the world's leading heart transplant surgeon and founder of the U.K. charity Chain of Hope; Anatoly Sagalevitch, Russian explorer, and world record holder for the deepest freshwater dive, who was also the pilot of the MIR submersibles, most famously to help film the wreck of the Titanic; and Sylvia Earle, American oceanographer, aquanaut and author who has been widely acclaimed for her work in exploration and environmental advocacy.
Rebecca Irvin, Head of Philanthropy at Rolex, said, "The Rolex brand has strong ties with India, as we have been operating in the country for nearly a half century. Rolex is coming to New Delhi to pay tribute to the spirit of enterprise driving this dynamic economy."
About the Rolex Awards for Enterprise:
The Rolex Awards for Enterprise were established in 1976 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Oyster chronometer, the world's first waterproof watch. They were created to encourage individuals worldwide ready to take on major challenges to benefit humankind and the planet. The Rolex Awards and the Rolex Mentor and ProtÃ©gÃ© Arts Initiative comprise the two major international philanthropic programmes run by the Rolex Institute.