Dr Burney, who had vowed never to return to India after the 'humiliating treatment' meted out in New Delhi on his last visit when he was sent back from the airport, has, however, agreed to come to India and receive the award personally. He wants to send out a message that social justice and brotherhood cannot be contained within man-made boundaries, whether between countries or in the mind, according to a release here.
The human rights activist has been instrumental in releasing several Indian prisoners languishing in Pakistan jails. Prominent being Sarabjit Singh, whose death sentence was converted to life imprisonment. He had so far secured the release of around 7,00,000 prisoners worldwide.
Dr Burney was elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council and was commended by the US State Department for being in the forefront for combating child slavery in the Middle East, where kidnapped children are used as camel jockeys. He was the first to introduce the concept of human rights in Pakistan, a nation where the rule of law is virtually non-existent and human rights degradation rampant.
Mother Teresa Award is given to a personality in recognition of work done for promoting social justice.
The award function will be held at Sahara Star Hotel in the western suburb of Santacruz, wherein Sarabjit's family members will be present, the release added.