The list of 2016 Ramon Magsaysay awardees is out and two Indians have found a place in it. Acclaimed Carnatic musician TM Krishna and social activist Bezwada Wilson are the awardees from India. Other winners are Conchita Carpio-Morales from Philippines, Dompet Dhuafa from Indonesia, Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers and Vientiane Rescue from Laos.
The award is bestowed on leaders from Asia for their selfless service to society. It is named after former Philippine president Ramon Magsaysay.
40-year-old Krishna, who was born in Chennai, has been conferred the award for ‘ensuring social inclusiveness in culture.’
“In electing Thodur Madabusi Krishna to receive the 2016 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Emergent Leadership, the board of trustees recognizes his forceful commitment as artist and advocate to art’s power to heal India’s deep social divisions, breaking barriers of caste and class to unleash what music has to offer not just for some but for all,” his citation read.
As for Bezwada Wilson, he has been recognised by the board of trustees for ‘asserting the inalienable right to a life of human dignity.’
Watch Video: TM Krishna, Bezwada Wilson are among awardees of 2016 Ramon Magsaysay award
“In electing Bezwada Wilson to receive the 2016 Ramon Magsaysay Award, the board of trustees recognizes his moral energy and prodigious skill in leading a grassroots movement to eradicate the degrading servitude of manual scavenging in India, reclaiming for the dalits the human dignity that is their natural birthright,” his citation read.
“Fifty years old, Bezwada Wilson has spent 32 years on his crusade, leading not only with a sense of moral outrage but also with remarkable skills in mass organizing, and working within India’s complex legal system. SKA has grown into a network of 7,000 members in 500 districts across the country. Of the estimated 600,000 scavengers in India, SKA has liberated around 300,000,” it read.