France Confers Highest Civilian Honour on 92-Yr-Old Bengal Priest

Father Franois Laborde, a 92-year-old priest, was Wednesday conferred the Légion d'Honneur, the highest civilian award of France, in recognition of his work for specially-abled children.

French Ambassador to India, Alexandre Ziegler, said the country was happy to confer the award on Father Laborde who had set up Howrah South Point, an organisation working for the development of specially-abled children, the destitute and the most deprived sections of the society.

" “He is working for these specially-abled and destitute children for 60 years. The way he still works even at this age, he is an inspiration for us.”" - Alexandre Ziegler, French Ambassador to India

Father Laborde said he was dedicating the award to the children for whom he works.

Father Laborde is of French-origin but he has been given Indian citizenship.

He is the third person from the state to have been awarded the Legion of Honor after film maestro Satyajit Ray and actor Soumitra Chatterjee. While Ray was awarded in 1987, his favourite actor got the honour last year.

The French Ambassador also visited an exhibition on the works of Father Laborde, organised on the occasion.

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