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The People of Chennai Win CNN-News 18’s Indian of the Year Award

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CNN-News 18’s ‘Indian of the Year Award’ for 2015 went to the people of Chennai for displaying selflessness and courage during the floods of 2015. The 10th edition of the award, which was held on June 9 (Thursday), was attended by known names from the government, sports, entertainment and business field.

“The floods were the worst disaster in 100 years for Chennai. But they united the people like never before. Beginning with a handful of people, gradually there were more volunteers than victims on the streets of Chennai (sic),” said RJ Balaji, who started the Chennai Micro Fund Trust along with actor Siddarth during the floods. He received the award from the Union finance minister Arun Jaitley, one of the guests of honour at the event. 

Also present on the event was Aruna Anand, wife of chess champion Viswanathan Anand. The Anands had opened their home for the flood victims in December 2015.

Winners in other categories

S.S. Rajamouli, won the CNN-News 18’s Indian Of The Year of 2015 in the entertainment category, lauded for his 2015 film Bahubali

Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh won a special achievement award, but was unable to attend the event. His father accepted the award on his half. 

Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut, on accepting her Special Achievement award for her role in the 2015 hit Tanu Weds Manu Returns, gave a speech on censorship and the controversies around her. “We are all very concerned about the things that are happening right now. I am deeply disturbed by the controversy surrounding Udta Punjab.  To an extent, my friends in the industry feel bullied. We all know that there is a process to certify films. But this kind of censorship is not done,” said the actress. 

Singer and Minister of State for Urban Development Babul Supriyo won a special award for his playback singing. He broke into an impromptu song in the event that Kangana Ranaut and Sania Mirza made light of. 

In the sports category, Sania Mirza won the special achievement award this year. She won 41 matches, without even losing once, in 2015. “It was incredible. We did not lose a match for six months in a sport where you play every week of the year. I dedicate this award to every girl who was told not to play sports because they would get a tan,” she said.

Tennis star Leander Paes won an award too, which accepted by his father Vece Paes in the player’s absence. Former member of India’s three-time Olympic winning hockey team, Balbir Singh Dosanjh, was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Image courtesy: Firstpost’s Twitter page.

 

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