Cyrus Poonawalla, the founder-chairman of the Serum Institute of India (SII) in Pune, was already chosen a beneficiary of the renowned Lokmanya Tilak National Award for 2021, according to news service PTI, citing Deepak Tilak, the Lokmanya Tilak Trust's chairman.
“He will be honoured for his work during the coronavirus pandemic, wherein he helped in saving many lives by manufacturing the Covishield vaccine. Under his leadership, crore of doses were made available to people in record time. Poonawalla has been at the forefront of making different vaccines at affordable prices,” Tilak announced.
Tilak further stated that, while the annual event is usually held on August 1, the anniversary of the liberation fighter's death, it will be held on August 13 this year owing to the pandemic scenario. The reward includes a monetary prize of one lakh rupees as well as a memento for the winner.
The prize was presented for the first time in 1983. Former Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and Dr. Manmohan Singh are some of the awardees, as are former President Pranab Mukherjee and Infosys chairman NR Narayana Murthy.
Thus, according his websites, Poonawalla, who was born in 1941, created SII in 1966. By the daily dose manufactured and sold internationally, it is now the largest global vaccination producer (more than 1.5 billion). His son, Adar, is the company's current chief executive officer (CEO) and was one of the most visible figures throughout the epidemic, since he provided constant updates on the implementation of covid-19 vaccinations.
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