PATNA: Bihar CM Nitish Kumar will be conferred with prestigious ‘Anuvrat Award’ by the Shwetambar Terapanthi Sabha, a religious sect of Jainism, for enforcing total liquor ban in the state and spreading message of de-addiction across the country.

Two years back, former deputy prime minister L K Advani was conferred the award for promoting moral values in the society. Other prominent recipients of the award are former PM Guljarilal Nanda, former president Shankar Dayal Sharma, former vice president Bhairosingh Sekhawat, former chief election commissioner T N Seshan and former Supreme Court judge Justice G S Singhvi who upheld gay sex as criminal offence.

“Nitish Kumar has been chosen for the esteemed award by the Anuvrat Mahasamiti, a central body of the Anuvrat movement launched by prominent Jain Muni Acharya Tulsi, for doing a very important social work like liquor ban in Bihar,” Tansukh Lal Baid, a prominent functionary of the Shwetambar Terapanthi Sabha, told TOI here on Wednesday.

“The award, which consists of Rs 1.51 lakh, a shawl, a certificate and a memento, will be handed over to Bihar CM by Acharya Mahashraman, the topmost saint of Terapanth sect, at a function in Patna on March 28,” Baid said. The award is given annually to a person or organisation for promoting human unity, moral values and non-violence in the society and to establish the principles of Anuvrat, he said.

Acharya Mahashraman is reaching the state capital on March 27 after travelling more than 15,000 km on foot in India, Bhutan and Nepal as part of his ‘Ahimsa Yatra’ that began from the red fort in Delhi on November 9, 2014. Acharya Mahashraman will stay in the state capital till March 30 and attend a series of religious programmes being organised at grand level by the members of Terapanth sect.

Baid said, Nitish Kumar has been selected for the Anuvrat Award of 2016. Advani was conferred the award in 2014. The award for 2015 could not be conferred as the selectors could not found any person or organisation fit for the prestigious award.

Earlier in April 2016, Nitish Kumar was conferred with “K Veeramani Award for Social Justice” by US-based Periyar International, for promoting the cause of social justice in the country.