Two Indians, Bharat Vatwani & Sonam Wangchuk, Receive Magsaysay Awards
Manila: Two Indian nationals, Bharat Vatwani and Sonam Wangchuk, on Friday were given the Ramon Magsaysay award, popularly known as Asia’s Nobel Prize. At a ceremony in Manila, Cambodian activist Youk Chhang, Filipino Howard Dee, Vietnam’s Vo Thi Hoang Yen and East Timore’s Maria de Lourdes Martins Cruz were also honored for their work. “All are unafraid to take on large causes. All have refused to give up despite meagre resources, daunting adversity and strong opposition,” Carmencita Abella, president of the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation said, Efe reported.
Vatwani has dedicated his life for rescuing mentally ill people from the streets of India - who number around 400,000 according to estimates - and providing them with shelter and treatment through his Shraddha Rehabilitaion Foundation. Since 1988, Vatwani has helped around 7,000 mental patients, reuniting many of them with their families. Wangchuk has been recognised for “his uniquely systematic, collaborative and community-driven reform of learning systems in remote northern India, thus improving the life opportunities of Ladakhi youth, and his constructive engagement of all sectors in local society to harness science and culture creatively for economic progress, thus setting an example for minority peoples in the world”. (IANS)