On Saturday, February 10, 2024, the prestigious "Dr. Asghar Ali Engineer Lifetime Achievement Award" ceremony held at the Maharana Kumbha Music Hall, Udaipur, celebrating the exceptional contributions of Dr. Flavia Agnes, a distinguished Advocate and Women's Rights Activist hailing from the Mumbai High Court.
Commander Mansoor Ali Bohra, Chairman of the Central Board of Dawoodi Bohra Community, elucidated the significance of the award, which recognizes individuals who have demonstrated remarkable dedication to social service, human rights, and interfaith harmony. The award is a collaboration between the Bohra Youth Institute, Institute of Islamic Studies, and the Center for the Study of Society and Secularism.
The event started with a Quran recitation. Following that, Commander Mansoor Ali Bohra, the Chairman of the Central Board of Dawoodi Bohra Community, and Irfan Engineer, Director of the Center for Study of Society and Secularism, paid tribute to the late Dr. Asghar Ali Engineer. They highlighted that Dr. Asghar Ali Engineer was not just a leader and trailblazer for the progressive Bohra community but also acknowledged as a global Islamic scholar. Dr. Asghar Ali Engineer, renowned for his contributions as an Islamic scholar and his work on secularism, authored 78 books. Furthermore, his articles were consistently featured in esteemed newspapers like The Times of India.
Dr. Flavia Agnes joins the esteemed ranks of past recipients, including South Indian Malayali writer P. Ramanunni, retired Justice Hosbet Suresh, and Urdu writer Abdus Sattar Dalvi, in receiving this coveted accolade.
Irfan Engineer, Director of the Center for Study of Society and Secularism, commended Dr. Flavia Agnes for her co-founding role in the social and cultural organization "Majlis." Her advocacy spans a spectrum of critical issues, including women's empowerment, combating domestic violence, addressing gender discrimination, and championing the socioeconomic and legal rights of women.
Notably, Dr. Flavia Agnes has chronicled her life's trials and triumphs in her book 'Parwaaz,' first published in 1984. The book, translated into multiple Indian languages such as Marathi, Urdu, Gujarati and even Russian, serves as a testament to her enduring impact and universal resonance.
In a poignant address at the Maharana Kumbha music auditorium, Dr. Flavia Agnes engaged attendees with reflections on the theme of 'Women's Rights Movement and Judicial Reform.' Drawing from her personal experiences, she shared poignant anecdotes of resilience and perseverance, underscoring the challenges she overcame while pursuing her education in law amidst domestic responsibilities.
Throughout her discourse, Dr. Flavia Agnes shed light on the pervasive scourge of atrocities against women, including domestic violence, sexual harassment, and dowry oppression. Despite existing legal frameworks, she lamented the prevalence of impunity for perpetrators, urging women to transcend societal constraints and advocate for their rights through unwavering determination.
The ceremony concluded with a resounding tribute to Dr. Flavia Agnes, whose unwavering commitment to justice and equality continues to inspire generations.
While presiding over the event, social activist Sudha Choudhary from Udaipur expressed that she has learned a lot from Dr. Asghar Ali Engineer. She paid tribute to the struggles of Dr. Falvia Agnes and emphasized the urgent need for individuals to safeguard the constitution, drawing inspiration from the martyrs Bhagat Singh and Baba Saheb Ambedkar. Also, Dr. Sarwat Khan paid tribute to Dr. Asgar Ali Engineer.
The successful conduct of the program was done by Anis Miyaji, while the vote of thanks was delivered by Nasir Javed. Present at this occasion were Abid Adib, the patron of the Central Board of Dawoodi Bohra Community, Abbas Ali Nath, the President of Dawoodi Bohra Jamaat, Zakir Pansari, the Secretary, along with Yusuf RG, the Secretary of Bohra Youth Organization. In addition, Professor Hemendra Chandalia and workers of AIPWA, as well as leaders of the Marxist Communist Party like Rajesh Singhvi, along with respected individuals from Udaipur city, social workers and others were present.