This year veteran social worker K. V. Veloo became tabla!'s fourth Community Champion for his contributions to the community.
He received his award from Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong at a ceremony on Oct 2 during which Indian high commissioner Vijay Thakur Singh congratulated him, saying: "His life and work is exemplary."
For over five decades Mr Veloo, 80, devoted his time to helping others. He set up programmes to rehabilitate offenders and drug addicts, and pushed for a more accessible transportation system for the disabled.
Said Mr Veloo: "I am immensely humbled to receive this year's tabla! Community Champion award. I thank tabla! for this recognition and the State Bank of India for its generous donation of $10,000 to charities of my choice.
It is indeed an honour to be counted among the recipients of the award. It is even more special to be recognised by one's own community."
The State Bank of India (SBI) presented him with a $10,000 cheque which he donated to three charities - the Sathya Sai Social Service ($5,000), the Singapore Indian Association Welfare Fund ($2,500) and the Muslim Kidney Action Association ($2,500).
Said the managing director of SBI Krishna Kumar: "SBI has been in Singapore since 1977.
We are very much a part of the community, and supporting the tabla! Community Champion is our way of contributing back to the community.
The champion is chosen for his generosity and dedication to bettering the lives of others, traits that we at SBI value."
Mr Ameerali Abdeali, president of the Muslim Kidney Action Association, shared with tabla! his organisation's appreciation of Mr Veloo's kind gesture.
"We at the Muslim Kidney Action Association are deeply grateful to Mr Veloo for his warm generosity. He has been a great friend and has always given us encouragement and support.
We are extremely touched that he has seen our organisation worthy of his support," said Mr Ameerali.
Ambassador K. Kesavapany, who heads the Singapore Indian Association, was delighted to hear that Mr Veloo was chosen as the tabla! Community Champion.
He said the ideas that Mr Veloo had planted in improving the lives of the less privileged continue to be relevant to contemporary times.
The association's Welfare Fund runs a programme called Saving People From Falling through the Cracks.
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