Las Vegas: India’s Minister for Home Affairs Mr. Rajnath Singh received the Diamond Empowerment Fund’s highest recognition, the 2015 Global Empowerment Salute which was conferred on Hon’ble Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi and the government of India at the DEF Gala held in Las Vegas.
The honour was conferred on Mr. Modi and the government for India’s global leadership and contributions to democracy, development and the growth and expansion of the international diamond industry.
Accepting DEF’s Global Salute Mr. Rajnath Singh said, “It is good to know that the Diamond Empowerment Fund is actively working to help create education programs for children and for people working in the diamond industry in India.”
The DEF has chosen Veerayatan, an NGO working in the field of education, as a beneficiary in India. Ashna Mehta, student ambassador for Veerayatan said, “Without access to education, the cycle of poverty is perpetuated and difficult to break free from … Veerayatan enables youth to reach their full potential and become leaders and change-makers in their communities.”
Other student scholars representing DEF’s “Diamonds Do Good” mission of developing the next generation of leaders in diamond communities around the world through access to higher education were also present on the occasion.
Chantal Uwiringiyimana, one of the scholars from the African Leadership Academy and currently a University of Arizona undergraduate, said, “Having grown up in a poor Rwandan community, education has been the key to opportunity … I am now on track to become one of the few African female engineers.”
De Beers Group CEO Philippe Mellier, a co-founder of the Diamond Empowerment Fund, stated, “A diamond is a rare and powerful symbol for both those who give and receive one. A diamond is also a powerful symbol for those who work with them. Our diamond communities are committed to furthering the building blocks for long-term prosperity through healthcare, infrastructure, access to education, and employment. De Beers thanks DEF for helping make diamond moments by showing the world how ‘Diamonds Do Good.’”