New Delhi, Aug. 2: Hyderabad-based Vamcy Merla Sports Foundation became the first sports body to receive the prestigious Bharat Ke Anmol award during a glittering ceremony at the Dr Ambedkar International Centre in New Delhi on Tuesday evening.
The Foundation’s chairman Mr Vamcy Merla accepted the coveted award, bestowed on him for promoting talented but financially challenged boys and girls across several sports, ranging from soccer, roller-skating, kabaddi, badminton to motorsports.
Bharat Ke Anmol, is one of its kind National Award, acknowledges and celebrates eminent personalities in India who have not only risen above the rest in their field of speciality but have also done yeoman service to the society and to the disadvantaged.
Padmasree Dr Vijay Kumar Shah (a prominent Social Activist), Dr. T.S. Rao (Father of Vaccines), Dr SM Khan (Doordarshan Director-General, News), Air Commodore Rashid Zafar Qureshi (Kargil veteran), Mir Mothesham (former Mr World silver medallist) and Smt Chandrakala Padia (eminent scholar) were among the elite personalities who were feted.
“My father Late Shri Merla Chandrashekara Rao used to run several charitable trusts and provide every kind of assistance to the poor and downtrodden. I’ve been inspired by him,” Mr Merla said while receiving the award. “As for me, I have been passionate about motorsports all my life. That’s why I am supporting events, racers, rallyists and drivers at several levels. I am grateful for being chosen for this prestigious award. I now feel motivated to do more,” he added.
“Mr Merla has changed the face of Indian motorsports with his foundation. We hope this award encourages him to help other sports and sportspersons,” Dr. Mohammad Nizamuddin and Dr Venkata Ganjam, the brains behind the Bharat Ke Anmol initiative, said.
Among other things, Mr Merla sponsors the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship, Rally of Coimbatore, Rally of Mangalore and Sprint Rally (two-wheeler categories. Upcoming drivers like Arjun Rajiv, Nikitha Takle, Jahan Gill and Renuka Gajendran have also got to compete in national events as well as in Europe.