Two Indians are among six individuals who received this year’s Ramon Magsaysay Award today. Bharat Vatwani and Sonam Wangchuk received the award, regarded as the Asian version of the Nobel Prize.
The Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation, in its citation for the winner, said Vatwani was recognised for his tremendous courage and healing compassion in embracing India’s mentally-afflicted destitute.
Mumbai based Vatwani, and his wife started an informal operation of bringing mentally-ill street persons to their private clinic for treatment, leading them to establish Shraddha Rehabilitation Foundation in 1988.
Wangchuk 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.
Youk Chhang from Cambodia, Maria de Lourdes Martins Cruz from East Timor, Howard Dee from the Philippines and Vo Thi Hoang Yen from Vietnam are the other winners of the award.
Established in 1957, the Ramon Magsaysay Award is Asia’s highest honour.