Accepting the award, a visibly emotional Sharmila commented, “My struggle is not for awards or money. My struggle is for peace and justice. I will not be happy until my goal is achieved.” She added, “I want the creation of an international fund by an international body for dispensing justice and I want to donate the cash award to such a fund.”
An equally emotional Dr. M K Chaudhuri, Founder Director – IIPM and Chairman, IIPM Awards Committee stated, “It makes me feel so proud and satisfied to come in touch with Sharmila. She is truly a living legend - a crusader who has selflessly struggled to bring about peace and justice in her land. She should be looked up as an icon for one and all, who has never swayed away from her vision. We all at IIPM salute her for her courage and grit and will continue to extend moral support to her cause.”
IIPM over the years has instituted various awards to recognize people from different walks of life, who have contributed in their own fields and have tried to become an element of change for the society at large. This year in April, IIPM instituted the Manavata Vikas Award, which was given out to people who have worked in the socio-political domain and in the fields of people centric economics and people-centric management. The awardees included academicians like Dr Ashok Sanjay Guha and Prof Sunanda Sanyal, popular columnists like Gurcharan Das and Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar and social thinkers like painter Shuvaprasanna Bhattacharya, Medha Patkar and Mahasweta Devi. In May once again, IIPM instituted the Rabindra Smriti Puraskar in Kolkata and honored some of the greatest individuals who have contributed in spreading Rabindranath’s consciousness through their works among the general mass – actor Soumitra Chatterjee, singer Suchitra Mitra, social visionary Dr Tushar Kanjilal and novelist Selina Hossain of Bangladesh. Once again on 30th August 2010, IIPM declared the USD 100,000 Surama Chowdhury Memorial International Award in Literature, awarding Khaled Hosseini for his depiction of socio-political life in a war ravaged Afghanisthan in his novel – A Thousand Splendid Suns. There were many other awards given out on the same evening in areas of Journalism, Literature and Social Contribution.