29 Jul, 2015
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Asia’s prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Awards for year 2015 were announced on 29 July 2015. 5 winners were declared for 2015 and it included two Indians – Whistleblower bureaucrat Sanjeev Chaturvedi and human rights activist Anshu Gupta. The awards will be given on 31 August 2015 in Manila.
Following is the list of 5 winners:
Kommaly Chanthavong (Laos)
Kommaly Chanthavong was recognised for her efforts to develop the ancient Laotian art of silk weaving. In 1976, Kommaly founded a cooperative for the production of silk, which she still heads. The cooperative teaches mostly women traditional skills in raising silkworms, making natural dyes and weaving traditional patterns. The successful marketing of the products provides a fair and steady income to several hundred families, supporting the socio-economic development of local communities.
Kyaw Thu (Myanmar)
Kyaw Thu was recognised for “his generous compassion in addressing the fundamental needs of both the living and the dead in Myanmar — regardless of their class or religion — and his channeling personal fame and privilege to mobilize many others toward serving the greater social good.” Thu is a two-time Myanmar Academy Award winning film actor and film director. He was one of the top leading men of Burmese cinema in the 1980s and 1990s. Thu has devoted much time to do social work for the poor, and in the process has gradually emerged as a vocal critic of the Burmese military government. He has used his prominence to help the country’s poor. He is founder and vice president (now President) of the Free Funeral Service Society (FFSS), which provides free funeral services to the poor.
Sanjeev Chaturvedi (India)
Sanjeev Chaturvedi has been awarded in the category of “Emergent Leadership”. He was chosen for “his exemplary integrity, courage and tenacity in uncompromisingly exposing and painstakingly investigating corruption in public office, and his resolute crafting of program and system improvements to ensure that government honorably serves the people of India.” He is the 2002-batch Indian Forest Service officer and is posted at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi as its Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO). He has been in news for being embattled in a protracted battle with the Union Govt. over alleged harassment for his tough stance on graft.
Ligaya Fernando-Amilbangsa (Philippines)
Ligaya Fernando-Amilbangsa was chosen for the award for “her single-minded crusade in preserving the endangered artistic heritage of southern Philippines”.
Anshu Gupta (India)
Anshu Gupta was recognised for “his creative vision in transforming the culture of giving in India, his enterprising leadership in treating cloth as a sustainable development resource for the poor, and in reminding the world that true giving always respects and preserves human dignity.” Gupta is the founder of a non-governmental organization (NGO) Goonj which works in 21 states across India in disaster relief, humanitarian aid and community development. Established in 1999 by Anshu Gupta, it has converted 1,000 tonnes of used clothes, household goods and other urban discards into usable resources for the poor.
About Ramon Magsaysay Awards
Ramon Magsaysay Awards were established in 1957 and are named after popular Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay who died in a 1957 plane crash. These awards are often known as the ‘Nobel Prize of Asia’. An important feature of these annual prizes is that they are awarded only to personalities from Asia. Magsaysay Awards were first awarded in 1958.