New Delhi, October 1: 91-year-old Leelaben Chhabildas Gurjar from Gujarat today got the iconic mother award from President Pranab Mukherjee for successfully bringing-up her children despite great odds.
Besides her, ten other individuals, including a 104-year-old man from Haryana, were presented with 'National Awards for Senior Citizens 2015' by the President for their outstanding contribution for the welfare of the senior citizens.
"I am very happy to receive the honour," she told PTI here.
Leelaben, who hails from Viramgam town under Ahmedabad district, had to face great odds to educate her six children, including two daughters. She worked as 'safai karamchari' and in order to supplement the meagre salary from the job she used to work as a manual scavenger.
She became mother at the age of 14. Later, five more children were born to her. In spite of adversity, she sent all her children to school and encouraged them to get education.
Because of the prevailing practise of untouchability, her children were not allowed to sit along with others or to share the common facility of drinking water.
Undeterred by such discrimination, Leelaben continued to give her unstinting support to her children and eventually succeeded in securing higher education for all of them and they achieved respectable positions in their careers and in society.
The senior citizen award for iconic mother for the year 2015 is awarded to Leelaben, who in the face of great odds, brought up her children and supported them in being successful in life, according to a citation of the award given by Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry.
104-year-old Uday Singh Mann, a native of Lowa Kalan village under Bahadurgarh Tehsil in Jhajjar district of Haryana, was given 'award for centenarian' for having rendered exemplary services for the betterment of the community and the society at large.
He was brought to the dais in a wheelchair to receive the award from the President. .