The award was given away Tuesday at a glittering function held at the Taj Palace, New Delhi, by the Vice President of India-Dr Hamid Ansari in the presence of various dignitaries and the other winners under different categories, who were picked by a jury.
Vijayan was nominated for the award along with 35 other nominees from various walks of life. The popular choice award was won by P Vijayan after he was voted as the Indian of the Year by way of a Facebook voting system. Significantly, he emerged winner of the Indian of the Year (popular choice) award 2014 with an astounding majority of votes on the social networking platform.
Vijayan’s nomination for the award by CNN IBN came for his widely acclaimed Student Police Cadet project. The award acknowledged him as the force behind the Student Police Cadet project that started in Kerala and is now set to go national. The project trains high school students to respect the law and develop empathy for vulnerable sections of society.
The DIG’s own journey from a child labourer to an IPS officer is not just an inspiration to many, it has also motivated him to initiate several novel schemes to promote education among poor children.
The Facebook voting was initiated as soon as the nominations were announced and supporters from the world over wholeheartedly voted for Vijayan to make him the winner. Significantly, he polled more than half of the total votes polled as per the Facebook campaign and came up trumps, garnering a whopping 51 percent of the total votes cast.
The whole campaign had been seen with much enthusiasm, and supporters spent time driving the Facebook voting campaign for Vijayan, thus making him finish on top.
Thanking CNN IBN and his supporters, Vijayan paid rich tributes to the unsung heroes of India, who endlessly toil day and night in the farms, on the streets, at construction sites and so on contributing much to the nation building process. He added that he accepts the award on behalf of the police personnel of the country, who tirelessly dedicate their lives for the safe upkeep of the law and citizens’ happiness. These services are seldom recognized and the award is on behalf of them, added IPS officer.
The DIG also wholeheartedly thanked his entire student cadets and all those involved in the successful implementation of the project, his family and all his well wishers and supporters for standing by him and spurring his win.
Pointing out that he believes that India is a great country of opportunities with its immense strengths and that the challenge is to rise above problems and find solutions to alter the destiny of the unprivileged, he said, the moment one cultivates the will to face problems with a bold heart and set noble goals, the whole world will conspire to realize those dreams and goals. “My humble life and experiences speak of this universal mantra of success,” he added.
He said as a police officer, he has been confronted with immense challenges that had no easy, readily-available, solutions. “So I took up the challenges and initiated projects such as Student Police Cadet, Our Responsibility to Children, and Nanma Learning Centres in Kerala. I am sure these initiatives have enabled thousands of children to dream better and chase their dreams with a brave heart. When they materialize their dreams, Bharat shall certainly be a better place to live and prosper,” he concluded.
The award comes as a recognition to the efforts he (Vijayan) has put in to build the Student Police Cadet Project. The SPC project has received wide acceptance and has been adopted by various states already. A national roll out of the project is too in the anvil.
DIG Vijayan has also initiated various other projects aimed at social transformation, and the prominent ones among them include-Our Responsibility to Children (ORC) project, Nanma Learning Centres, School Protection Group, and Punyam Poonkavanam.