| 10 Dec 2023
Big FM'S RJ Balaji honoured with 'CNN News 18 Indian Of The Year Award - People Of Chennai'

MUMBAI: Big FM Chennai's most loved celebrity radio jockey RJ Balaji who has received immense recognition for his show 'Take It Easy' and for his exceptional contribution towards humanitarian causes has added yet another feather to his cap. RJ Balaji received the prestigious award from Finance Minister Arun Jaitley at the tenth edition of CNN News 18 Indian of the Year Award, for the spirit of selfless volunteerism that the people of Chennai displayed during the marauding floods of December 2015. It is a matter of great pride for Chennai as RJ Balaji has been felicitated with the award that represents the people of Chennai.

Speaking on the prestigious win, RJ Balaji said, “Nobody imagines for a disaster like this to occur. For the first time, an RJ and an actor teamed up and brought the spirit of the city alive. I am humbled at receiving the Indian of the Year Award. However, this award does not belong to me. It belongs to the lakhs of volunteers who extended their support to the social movement. It belongs to and represents the people of Chennai. The catastrophic Chennai floods were an awakening for not only the people of Chennai; but for the nation too. The Chennai floods were the worst disaster in 100 years and also the best thing that happened to us in decades. We all were wearing a mask being made out of caste, creed, religion, race, money and authority, but all those mask were washed away by the rain and we understood that we are all just humans after all and what matters is to remain one. It brought out the true spirit and volunteerism of the people in Chennai to help each other at the time of need. It was for this reason that the city was able to bounce back in a week.”

CNN News 18 Indian of the Year; a property of Indian media house CNN-News18 is an annual award which recognizes contribution of individuals in their respective fields of politics, sports, business, entertainment, public service and global Indian. RJ Balaji has been bestowed upon by the ‘People of Chennai’ award under the ‘Public Service Category’. This award represents the spirit and determination of the citizens of Chennai exhibited during the devastating Chennai floods and how they stood united to manage the catastrophe.

RJ Balaji demonstrated the extraordinary prowess of being a responsible RJ and a citizen when he went out on ground zero to manage the herculean task of providing relief to flood ridden Chennai. He went out of his way to provide assistance and live updates on Big FM’s ‘Take It Easy’ show, and later considering the gravity of situation took matters in his own hands. RJ Balaji, the brain behind ‘Chennai Micro Fund Trust’ along with actor Siddharth and singer Chinmayi, started #ChennaiMicro on twitter. With this began the largest flood relief operation on social media.

Commenting on RJ Balaji’s efforts a spokesperson from 92.7 BIG FM said, “We are very proud of RJ Balaji, who led a huge and difficult task of managing an outreach to an entire city during the devastating times of the Chennai Floods. Having been bestowed upon by the ‘CNN News 18 Indian of the Year Award’, is an exceptional honour for the city of Chennai. It is also a moment of pride for us as a radio network, being a powerful medium to reach out to the people in times of need as well as to have contributed our support to RJ Balaji and the cause in the best way possible.”