Friday, April 07, 2006

The Ramon Magsaysay Award

This award is named after "Ramon Magsaysay [who] was the third president of the Republic of the Philippines after World War II. His life had great impact not only in his country but on many people in many lands. He was one of the outstanding leaders of his time."

Here's some brief history about it - "In April 1957, the Ramon Magsaysay Award was established by the trustees of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF) based in New York City. With the concurrence of the Philippine government, the prize was created to commemorate late president of the Philippines and to perpetuate his example of integrity in government, courageous service to the people, and pragmatic idealism within a democratic society."

"The RMAF recognizes and honors individuals and organizations in Asia regardless of race, creed, sex, or nationality, who have achieved distinction in their respective fields and have helped others generously without anticipating public recognition. The awards are given in five categories: government service; public service; community leadership; journalism, literature, and creative communication arts; peace and international understanding."

Here are some highlights of Indian awardees. Did you know that M.S. Subbulakshmi was awarded the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1974 for her extraordinary voice and cultural contribution to India. Baba Amte was awarded the Magsaysay in 1985 for his work with 'social outcasts' in rural Maharashtra, guided by his "philosophy that 'charity destroys, work builds'." And Dara N. Khurody was recognised in 1963 for his efforts in helping start and evolve the Aarey Milk Colony back in 1949. Amazing work, isn't it?

Other famous Indians who have received this honor are Kiran Bedi, Vinoba Bhave, Mother Teresa, Satyajit Roy, Arun Shourie, Ravi Shankar and many more... check out the list for more awardees.

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