On 9th January 1915, Mahatma Gandhi returned to India from South Africa. Every year since 2003, this date is remembered with the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) celebrations. A key feature of this event is the announcement of the winners of the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award (PBSA), the highest honour conferred on overseas Indians.
This year, we are extremely proud that our founder and trustee, Dr. Shachi Gurumayum who is a native of Manipur, has been chosen as one of 30 recipients from around the world. Dr. Shachi founded the MaolKeki Foundation (MKF) in December 2017 in memory of his late grandparents with the purpose of catalysing positive development in Manipur primarily in the areas of agriculture, education and healthcare.
MKF has trained over 1,500 farmers, provided last-mile healthcare services to over 2,500 individuals in rural areas and supported a selected number of students in their educational pursuits. Its flagship program is the AgriEntrepreneurs Program in partnership with the AgriEntrepreneurs Growth Foundation which helps farmers become AgriEntrepreneurs through dedicated training, financial support and regular monitoring sessions during implementation. The first of these agribusinesses is Veg-in-a-Basket (ViB) which delivers fresh vegetables from rural farms to busy urban households in Imphal.
Dr. Shachi has also worked in rural parts of many African countries to enable smallholder farmers adopt better practices and technologies to improve yield and quality for global agricultural companies such as AgBiTech and Syngenta. He is a Director of Switzerland-based AgriMayum GmbH and sits on the advisory board of multiple organizations focused on agriculture in emerging markets.
He is a graduate of St. Stephen’s College (Delhi, India), and completed his Master’s and PhD from the University of Bristol (England). He also holds an MBA from HEC Paris (France). In 2006, Dr. Shachi also had a reception with HRH Queen Elizabeth II and HRH Prince Philip at Buckingham Palace for his contributions to British science.