London, May 22
British Sikh entrepreneur Navjot Sawhney, founder of the Washing Machine Project providing low-income communities with accessible and sustainable washing solutions, is among 14 winners of the annual 21st Century Icon Awards in London.
Sawhney won the Sustainability Rising Star Award for the Washing Machine Project and received the trophy at a ceremony on Friday from Ibukun Adebayo, Group Director, Sustainable Finance and Investment Strategy, London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG).
His eco-friendly hand-cranked Washing Machine Project benefits families without access to an electric machine in underdeveloped countries and refugee camps.
“Since its creation in 2021, they have positively impacted the lives of over 30,000 people,” read the citation for the project, which has won several awards, including the British Prime Minister's Points of Light award in the past.
CA Bhavani Devi, the first Indian woman fencer to qualify and compete at the Olympic Games, was awarded the Competitive Sports Award, and Indian-origin entrepreneurs Ashok Duppati and Dheeraj Siripurapu bagged the Relentlessly Resolute Award for their efforts behind several market beating businesses over the last 20 years.
“We are absolutely delighted to celebrate and recognise these outstanding global icons,” said Tarun Ghulati and Preeti Rana of Squared Watermelon Limited, co-founders of the awards, now in their seventh year.
“We created these awards to showcase the young leaders who, through their tenacity, grit and hard work, have become the beacons of change, inspiring others and are on the front seat of innovation,” they said.
Around 200 business leaders, celebrities, and sports and community champions gathered for the awards ceremony last week, for which the 14 winners were whittled down from 45 finalists and around 600 submissions from around the world. The judging panel was made up of a diverse range of experts, including former Lord Mayor of London Vincent Keaveny and peers from the House of Lords.
Among other winners on the evening included the Specialist Professional Award for tech firm Cognizant CEO Ravi Kumar S and the Savvy Luxury Award for Dr Tara Lalvani, founder of beauty brand Beautifect.
The 21st Century Icon Awards were launched in 2017 by Squared Watermelon Ltd as a means to celebrate success and draw attention to the work of exceptional entrepreneurs, philanthropists, tech professionals, and sports and media personalities on a global stage.
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