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Sunday, March 20, 2016

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Indian student wins Noor Inayat Khan Prize

By: Shuvo Paul On: 2:11 AM
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  •  Geetakshi Arora, a PG student of the South Asia Institute at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, won the £1,000 prize.

    An Indian student is the winner of the first Noor Inayat Khan Prize for 2016, the London-based Noor Inayat Khan Memorial Trust announced on Saturday.
    Geetakshi Arora, a post-graduate student of the South Asia Institute at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, won the prize — which consists of £1,000 and a certificate — for her dissertation on “Goddess Myths in Graphic Novels: Reimagining Indian Feminity”.
    The Trust awards the annual prize to a post-graduate student from SOAS, University of London, working in the area of gender studies and South Asian history.
    Ms. Arora said that she was “humbled” by the award. “Noor has always inspired me to stand up for the values of peace, education and respect for all individuals irrespective of race, gender and religion. I will always try to live up to her legacy,” she told The Hindu.
    Of Indian descent, Noor Inayat was a secret agent in the Second World War, who was sent to Nazi-occupied Paris in 1943 from where she worked as a wireless operative sending intelligence reports to the Allies. Though betrayed to the Gestapo, tortured and ultimately killed at the Dachau concentration camp, she defied her captors to the very end.
    “We hope the annual award keeps the memory of Noor Inayat Khan alive in the student community. We felt that SOAS was the natural choice to locate this prize given its long tradition of promoting South Asian culture and history” said Shrabani Basu, founder and chair of the Noor Inayat Khan Memorial Trust, and author of the biography of Noor Inayat, The Spy Princess.
    A campaign by the Noor Trust resulted in the unveiling by Princess Anne in 2012 of a bust of Noor Inayat in Gordon Square, a tranquil lung space close to a cluster of institutions including SOAS.


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