Strengthening Roots, Bonding with Nation
Organiser   31-Dec-2018
Social activists, Smt Angam Tipnis and Capt (Retd) Ashok Tipnis, from Manipur felicitated with Karmayogi Award by Union Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman
New Delhi: Noted social activist couple of Manipur, Capt (retd) Shri Ashok Tipnis and Smt Angam Tipnis, who is working tirelessly on local and social issues through ‘Volunteers for Village Development’, was jointly felicitated with the Karmayogi Award-2018 by ‘My Home India’ on December 22. Union Minister of Defence Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, Deputy Chief Minister of Tripura Shri Jishnu Debbarma and former Captain of Indian Football Team Shri Bhaichung Bhutia were also present. The award consists of a citation, memento and cheque of Rs one lakh.
Smt Nirmala Sitharaman felicitating Smt Angam Tipnis and Shri Ashok Tipnis with Karmayogi Award. My Home India founder Shri Sunil Deodhar (right) is also seen 
Shri Ashok Tipnis along with his wife Smt Angam Tipnis has made immense contribution in community development, women empowerment, rural livelihood support and microfinance in Manipur through his voluntary organisation, Volunteers for Village Development (VVD). The VVD was established in 1982 in Ukhrul district of Manipur.
Born in 1938 in a middle class Marathi family of Raipur (Chhattisgarh) Capt (retd) Ashok Yashwant Tipnis was commissioned in the Indian Army in 1957 and retired as Captain in 1965. His youngest brother, Anil Y. Tipnis, was the Air Chief Marshal of India between 1998 and 2001 including during the Kargil war. His eldest brother Satish was Lieutenant Commander in Indian Navy but he passed away in an accident at a young age in 1968. Unfortunately, Ashok Tipnis’ career in Indian Army was cut short. After a few years of service, during which he was also deputed in UN Peace Keeping Force Mission at Gaza, Middle East during 1962-63, he was retired on medical grounds. He waged a long but futile battle for reinstatement in the army. Meanwhile, he was employed in CRPF from 1966 to 1972, where he rendered meritorious service as Company Commander. In 1967, he received the President’s Police Medal for Gallantry. During this service, he was posted in North East especially in Nagaland and Manipur.
He resigned from CRPF in 1972 and joined social service. He served for ten years in Rayalseema Development Trust, a voluntary organisation based in Andhra Pradesh, in the field of water and community development. He married a Naga Tangkhul lady Luingamla (also called Rajashree) in 1975 and settled in Ukhrul, Manipur. Here he started ‘Volunteers for Village Development’ involving his wife and two brothers-in-law, who were also his friends since the days of CRPF.
Despite meager resources, VVD undertook various initiatives in the socio-economic fields. Its initiatives include projects related to local self-governance, income generation, microfinance, increasing agrarian productivity, sanitation, forest regeneration, rainwater harvesting, women empowerment, weaving and craftwork, animal husbandry and horticulture etc. It ran the Fraternal Green Cross Programme during Naga-Kuki ethnic strife (1993-1997) aimed at peace and rehabilitation. The VVD played a pivotal and influential role in formation of the network United NGO Mission, Manipur in 1995. The footprints of VVD now cover four districts of Manipur. His work has led to marked improvement in socio-economic conditions of the beneficiaries. Shri Tipnis also served in the relief and rebuilding operations at Bhuj (Gujarat) in the aftermath of Bhuj earthquake of 2001.
During all these years, his wife stood firmly behind him and also made invaluable contribution to his work. In fact, their work has set an excellent example for others, who may want to contribute to the society and help in building the nation including integrating North-East with rest of the nation.