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Indians Bharat Vatwani and Sonam Wangchuk named Ramon Magsaysay winners
Posted on: 27-07-2018 , 07:39:AM | DY365 Bureau

 picture courtesy: The Better India

 July 27, 2018: Two Indians, Bharat Vatwani and Sonam Wangchuk, are among six who have been declared winners of this year’s Ramon Magsaysay Award, often referred to as the Asian version of the Nobel Prize. Bharat Vatwani is a psychiatrist who works for mentally-ill people living on the streets and Sonam Wangchuk, known for his reforms in the education sector in Ladakh, started a movement to help poor village students clear examinations.

The Magsaysay foundation recognised Vatwani’s courage and compassion in “embracing India’s mentally-afflicted destitute and his dedication to the work of restoring and affirming the human dignity of even the most ostracized,” said the citation on the award.

Wangchuk’s citation said he was 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”.

Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation President Carmencita Abella hailed the winners as “Asia’s heroes of hope, moving their societies forward through their unequivocal pursuit of the larger good”.

“In genuine solidarity with the disadvantaged and marginalised, each one has addressed real and complex issues with bold, and creative, and pragmatic action that has engaged others to do likewise. The results of their leadership are manifest in the changed lives of the many they have influenced,” Abella said.

Saying that the approaches of the winners were anchored in respect for human dignity, Abella further added, “All are unafraid to take on large causes. All have refused to give up, despite meagre resources, daunting adversity and strong opposition,” she further added.

The Magsaysay Award winners will each receive a certificate, a medallion bearing the image of the late Filipino leader Ramon Magsaysay, and a cash prize. They will be conferred with the Magsaysay Award during a formal presentation ceremony at the Cultural Centre in the Philippines on August 31, 2018.

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