US-based Indian photo journalist Jay Mandal has won the 'Image of the Year" prize under the 'Peace and Sport" award for the picture he took of the Indo-Pak tennis duo.
“The message of peace given by Rohan and Aisam is a unique source of inspiration for young people in their respective countries, but its significance does not stop there," said Joel Bouzou, President and founder of 'Peace and Sport" that gives the prestigious award.
The winning photograph of Indian Bopanna and his Pakistani partner Qureshi won nearly 60 per cent of the votes.
New York-based Mandal captured the two tennis star from the rival countries along with Indian Ambassador to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri and his Pakistani counterpart Abdullah H Haroon.
“They use their charisma and their sporting success to raise awareness amongst the entire international community, their fellow athletes and political authorities in their countries, as we saw at the US Open. I hope that their appeal will lead the way to new rapprochement initiatives.
“Sport"s greatest victory is not measured in terms of medals. It is measured by its ability to positively change people"s lives and bring them hope. And that"s exactly what Rohan and Aisam succeed in doing.
"They demonstrate what champions can achieve when they use their celebrity (status) for a good cause," Bouzou added while announcing the 21st edition of the Georges Bertellotti Golden Podium Awards held at SPORTEL Monaco.