Budhrani family gets 10th Elton Jones Memorial AwardPOSTED: 05/30/11 12:11 PM
“It takes true family to beat this disease.”
St. Maarten – The Budhrani family, who own Caribbean Gems on Front Street, have been presented with this year’s Elton Jones Memorial Award for being “a constant force behind the scenes” in the ongoing efforts in HIV and AIDS awareness. The award, given for the 10th time, was presented to the youngest member of the family Krish Budhrani at Sunday night’s commemoration of the 28th International AIDS Candlelight Memorial.
The citation on the award reads, “For dedicated and exemplary service and work.” The award itself is shaped as a victory sign and also features two hands reaching together for one goal.
Head of the AIDS Foundation’s Prevention Unit Rajesh Chintaman said be receiving the award the family was entering the ranks of dedicated HIV and AIDS activists and entering “the St. Maarten AIDS Foundation family.
“It takes true family to beat this disease,” Chintaman said.
He added, “This family embodies the perfect way to negate the impact of HIV/AIDS on our society. This family’s approach to HIV/AIDS awareness brings every sector into play. You might not have seen them in the newspapers or on T.V., but the Budhrani family is a constant force behind the scenes.”
The family’s involvement began six year ago, when Neelam Budhrani decided to “use her persuasive powers to get her family involved in selling ribbons and donating money. She also spent her time walking from store to store to raise money. At times she has also used that persuasive power on foundation members as well to “get them to go to that next shop and seek that next donation.”
Krish Budhrani, who watched his older siblings Ashan and Rikita, get involved hit the ground early at age 10. He started by setting up a home-made stall in front of his parent’s store. At the same time Ashan and Rikita went to supermarkets and walked Front Street.
“On behalf of my family who can’t be here right now, I’d like to say thank you. My parents have always supported the AIDS Foundation, at least for as long as I can remember. I remember asking my mom why she wanted to do this and she paused because of the nature of the disease, and the she said, ‘It is for a good cause’ and that was all I needed. I was set,” Budhrani said in his acceptance speech.