By Olubusuyi Adenipekun
Children who will emerge 2010 winners of the Indomie Independent Day Award for Heroes of Nigeria will smile home with mouth watering scholarship awards by Dufil Prima Foods Plc, sponsors of the programme.

The Head, Marketing of the leading noodles manufacturing outfit, Pawan Sharma stated at a press conference in Lagos that the first three winners will receive a crystal plaque of honor, a certificate of appreciation signed by the CEO of DUFIL in gold pen and a Scholarship award valued at N1, 000,000.00, N750, 000.00 and N500, 000.00 respectively.

As the organisers have began the search for this year’s winners of the awards, only children between ages five to 15 years who have shown exemplary courage in a difficult situation by saving life or property of someone else or have risen against some of the challenges facing the society are eligible for nomination.

Sharma noted that the award is a response to the call by many to recognize and celebrate the acts of bravery/heroism exhibited by Nigerian children.

“We believe that in every child lies what it takes to become great, however, many brave children today live an extraordinary life without ever being recognized or celebrated. We have responded to the call by many, to recognize and celebrate the acts of bravery and heroism exhibited by

Nigerian children. Not only the cosmopolitan and sophisticated, but also those who live in obscurity, lack and insecurity.”

He noted that the last two editions have been successful and received remarkable commendations from well-meaning Nigerians. ‘This year is however more significant for us as it coincides with the 50th anniversary of the country. We are therefore poised to reflect on how to make it better and more glamorous’. He stressed.

He explained that several millions of naira was spent on the award in the past two years, to celebrate the exemplary accomplishments of six children, giving due recognition to the sacrifices these children have made within the context and limitations of their social-economic status and educational backgrounds.

According to Sharma, “Nigeria is no doubt fortunate and blessed with several young people with similar or even superior nature of selflessness and milk of human kindness flowing in them. It is therefore our main aim to commence the process once again this year to collect, seek out and check for true stories, sited events, persons and places stories  about children who at one time or the other have done similar act of bravery and made notable sacrifices without any recognition.”

He stressed that the award scheme is national and will be a yearly event but the criteria is made such that, the act does not necessarily have to be done in the year of the award.

He added that all entries will be scrutinized by a screening committee who later provides a shortlist for consideration by a panel of judges. In order to get deserving individuals for the award, an independent research organisation has been commissioned to further screen and confirm the authenticity of the shortlisted entries.

He said notable Nigerians have already been shortlisted as Judges for this year’s event and their names will be made known to the public at a later date.

He added that at the end of the judging process, a final selection of three best acts from the available entries will be adjudged based on certain criteria which include demonstration of exceptional courage, leadership, excellence, skills displayed, bearing in mind the degree of risk involved, the determination to conduct the act, the future goals and likely impact on society, and whether it’s an inspirational role model for other kids amongst others.

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