First Blessed Mother Teresa Award goes to those fighting AIDS
28 Feb 2008
New Delhi; February 28, 2008. (CBCI) Card Telesphore Toppo presented the first Blessed Mother Teresa International Humanitarian Awards to Dr Peter Piot
and Ambassador Mark Dybul in recognition of their pioneering work in fighting AIDS and raising awareness about AIDS patients because those who suffer from this terrible disease are like Christ bearing the cross against whom no one should their backs.
The 'Blessed Mother Teresa International Humanitarian Awards' were instituted by the Commission for Health of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI). The two laureates---one is the executive director of UNAIDS; the other is United States Global AIDS coordinator---met the Blessed Mother Teresa and learnt from her the need to treat the sick.
The awards have been "instituted to recognize individuals who have demonstrated the humanitarian concerns exemplified by Blessed Mother Teresa," said Fr Alex Vadakunthala, the Commission's executive secretary.
Speaking about Mother Teresa's life, Cardinal Toppo said that she "most appropriately exemplified a rare combination of faith and commitment to humanitarian service, through her path-breaking work with the destitute, the dying and the suffering, or in her own words, with 'the poorest of the poor'. With an undaunted spirit of a prophet of our time, she asserted: A person living with HIV is Jesus among us! How can we say no to Him."
"The CBCI Health Commission has recognized the huge detrimental impact that HIV has on a country like India. It affects not only the health of our people, but also the vast socio-economic development of the future generations,' the prelate said.
"However challenging a situation may be, or however difficult the choices one has to make, the commitment to reduce distress and alleviate suffering should remain paramount," the cardinal added.