Chintan wins the United Nations-BMW Intercultural Innovation Award

February 27, 2013

Just a few hours ago, Chintan was awarded the Intercultural innovation Award at a glittering ceremony in Vienna, Austria. The award, bestowed by the United Nations, though its Alliance of Civilizations, in partnership with BMW, “aims to identify the most innovative grassroots projects that encourage intercultural exchange around the world.” The award consists of $15000 and technical assistance for Chintan's work for a period of one year.

Ten shortlisted organizations from five continents were honored at the historic Viennese Volkstheatre on February 26th, in the presence of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The finalists were shortlisted from over 500 applications representing 92 countries. The top five were given awards. Chintan received the third award, the only Indian and South Asian organization on the top 10 finalists.

At the ceremony, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, said, “The United Nations is increasingly expanding its partnerships with business and civil society, for only by engaging all will we create the future we want. The creative solutions being showcased tonight hold lessons for all communities and for organizations such as the United Nations.” President Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, Incoming United Nations High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, and further high-level representatives of the UNAOC and the BMW Group presented the award.

Bharati Chaturvedi, Director, Chintan who was in Vienna to received the award, urged the high power audience, comprising heads of states and global policy leaders, to “say a big thank you, not only to wastepickers, but the migrants in our cities whose contributions make our urban experience richer.”

BMW will support the winners by providing sustainable, customized support packages to help them expand their work and realizing their projects fruitfully. Chintan will be using the grant from the award as well as technical guidance for furthering its work in integrating and securing safe, secure and stable livelihoods in recycling for migrant waste pickers and work with waste generators in Delhi National Capital Region (NCR) to better understand and appreciate the contribution of wastepickers to cities and the planet.

Dr. Barry van Driel from the Netherlands headed the prestigious jury. Dr. Driel holds a graduate degree in Psychology of Culture and Religion and is the Vice-President of the International Association for Intercultural Education. He mentioned that he was deeply moved by Chintan's work with wastepickers. Other members of the jury included Muna AbuSulayman from Saudi Arabia, an expert in management, education, sustainable development, Islam/West and female empowerment as former Secretary General of the Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation; Heather Johnston from British Colombia, Canada, who holds more than 20 years of international experience in the field of intercultural communication; Dr. Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg from Kenya, the founder and Executive Director Akili Dada; and Professor Fethi Mansouri from Australia, the Director of the Strategic Research Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation at the Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia.

For more information, contact Nidhi Misra:; +91 88 607 57171