On Friday, Minister of the Interior Kristian Jaani handed out the Citizen of the Year award to virologist and government scientific council head Irja Lutsar.
The Citizen's Day recognition event also saw Citizen's Day awards handed to 15 active citizens who have taken it upon themselves to promote life in different regions of Estonia.
Interior minister Jaani said that Irja Lutsar deserves the award not just for the ongoing year, but for the previous year, as well. Lutsar's presenter pointed out the virologist's dignified, calm and understanding contribution to civic knowledge and awareness, along with increasing social cohesion.
"As a professor at the University of Tartu Institute of Biomedicine and Translational Medicine, she has led the work of the government's scientific council and has been a researcher in the battle against the coronavirus, trying to be in dialogue with society while leaning on a scientific world view. She has injected optimism for us to leave this pandemic behind," Jaani said.
The minister said all people awarded during Friday's event have contributed to society in special ways, driven by a desire to improve their communities.
Citizen's Day awards 2021
1. Merle Mölder – SA Põltsamaa Tervis board chair
2. Õie Rogovskaja – long-time Läänemaa Association of the Visually Impaired board member
3. Maarika Priske – Sillamäe Pääsupesa kindergarten director ja language immersion leader
4. Valdo Praust – data security specialist and Estonian Bicycle Museum founder
5. Margus Vain – Long-time Kautjala-Patika village elder
6. Priit Seire – Christmas charity event "Jõuluvana Preedik" organizer
7. Maire Kruus – Estonian Defense League Home Daughters western region elder and Women's voluntary defence organization western region chairwoman
8. Jüri Trei – NGO Eesti Vabaduse Eest leader
9. Anne Kalf – Rapla County village movement leader
10. Sven Salumets – one of the leaders of the "Märka meedikut!" ("Notice a medic!") initiative
11. Ülle Välimäe – NGO Estonian Folk Houses Union board chair
12. Ingrit Kala – Seto handicraft tradition keeper and transferor
13. Alari Rammo – Estonian Civil Society head of advocacy
14. Riina Tamm – Hiiumaa Hospital board member
15. Helja Kirber – head of the Global School of the Association of Education in Estonian
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste