In fulfillment of its renowned Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative towards children, Dufil Prima Foods Plc, makers of Indomie Instant Noodles has unveiled three lucky winners for this year’s Indomie Independence Day Awards (IIDA) and rewarded them with cash prizes worth N2.25 million.
Mr Haresh Aswani, Chairman, Dufil Prima Foods during the presentation of the awards in Lagos said it was targeted at identifying and rewarding children whose heroic acts touched lives but were often ignored due to their age.
“This event is significant because it is rooted in the recognition of those whose best efforts are very often overlooked by the society. On a daily basis, our beloved Nigerian children perform thousands of heroic acts at great personal risk to themselves. In 2008, we decided to take up the challenge by not only recognising these young heroes, but also providing them scholarship opportunities since their actions have touched lives in their immediate communities and beyond,” he noted.
For Divine Toruemi, Mohammed Kenubu and David Adekunle who placed first, second and third respectively, the awards could not have come at a better time since they never knew their acts of bravery would someday be rewarded. They were picked by a distinguished panel of judges from an initial shortlist comprising 14 children for this year’s edition of the event. Toruemi who resides in Port Harcourt rescued a drowning boy; while Kenubu from Kano helped find a missing baby and Adekunle, a Minna-based 8-year-old, got robbers arrested through his ingenuity. They got N1 million, N750,000 and N500,000 respectively for their heroism.
Toruemi, 14, said her recognition by Dufil Prima Foods Plc was an encouragement to always go the extra mile for others. “If I hadn’t done what I did that day by saving the drowning boy, I probably wouldn’t be here for this award. My message to children out there is to help save lives whenever they can. I’d like to say a big thank you to Dufil Prima Foods for the cash prize which will be very helpful to me and my family,” she said.
Aswani, who said the CSR initiative was key because it had encouraged children to aspire to greater heights over the past five years, added that the winners deserved celebration for scaling the strict standards of a panel of judges to emerge the Indomie Independence Day Heroes for 2013.
Also Speaking at the event, the CEO, Mr Deepak Singhal, assured that the company would always celebrate children who serve as change agents in their respective communities.
Human rights activist, Dr. Joe Odumakin, in her keynote address tagged ‘Children as Agents of National Transformation’ said, “I would like to commend Dufil Prima Foods Plc for rekindling the hope of the Nigerian child with this enviable initiative which rewards unique acts of bravery and heroism in our children, thereby inspiring them to aspire to greater heights.”
While lamenting the dearth of moral standards in the country, she said initiatives such as the Independence Day Awards were necessary since they gave children the hope of a brighter tomorrow. “The future of every nation is dependent on the youth, many of whom are children. Hence, it is pertinent for a nation that wants to grow to make conscious efforts to provide a better future for them as the nation’s destiny lies in their hands.”