Bezwada Wilson (50), and TM Krishna (40) are included in the list of the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award winners for the year 2016, as announced on Wednesday. Established in 1957, the Ramon Magsaysay Award is Asia’s highest honour.
A celebrated Carnatic vocalist, TM Krishna performing ever since he was six. Born in a family of musically influenced people, he went on to be a disciple of the late Padma awardee, Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer. Krishna has also received a bachelor’s in Economics from the Vivekanand College in Madras, but music remained to take the centerstage in hid life and he had launched a formal career as a vocalist by the time he was 20. The carnatic musical vocalist won the award for “social inclusiveness in culture”.
As for Bezwada Wilson, he has been recognised by the board of trustees for ‘asserting the inalienable right to a life of human dignity.’ Wilson, the founder of Safai Karmachari Andolan, an organisation that is working towards eradicating the practice of manual scavenging from Indian villages, won the award for “asserting the inalienable right to a life of human dignity”.
“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.
WATCH VIDEO: TM Krishna, Bezwada Wilson are among awardees of 2016 Ramon Magsaysay award
It is not the first time that citizens from India have been included in the list. Here is a list of all the winners of Magsaysay Award 2016:
2002: Sandeep Pandey: The social activist co-founded Asha for Education, which focused on RTI and other forms of citizen participation in battling corruption to improve the government’s efficiency.
2006: Arvind Kejriwal: Arvind Kerjiwal, the Chief minister of Delhi won the Award in the year 2006, for his involvement in grassroots movement ‘Parivartan’, which used RTI legislation fight against corruption.
2011: Nileema Mishra: Nileema Mishra, a social worker from Maharashtra worked with Vigyan Ashram, under guidance of Dr Kalbagh.
2015: Sanjiv Chaturvedi: Sanjiv Chaturvedi, an Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer, is currently serving as the deputy secretary at AIIMS.
2009: Deep Joshi: The social worker was recognised for bringing professionalism to NGO movement in India.
2011: Harish Hande: The social entrepreneur is recognized for being a co-founder of SELCO India.
2012: Kulandei Francis: Kulandei Francis, an activist and a social worker is the founder of NGO Integrated Village Development Project in the state of Tamil Nadu.
2015 Anshu Gupta: Anshu Gupta, a social entrepreneur is the founder of Goonj, a Delhi-based NGO which aims to use under-utilised urban material as a development resource in rural areas of the country.
1961 Amitabha Chowdhury: The Indian investigative journalist was recognized for reporting on community interests and individual rights in the country.
1994 Kiran Bedi: The current LG of Kerala, served as an Indian police officer, and worked as a social activist. She was recognized worldwide for introducing several reforms at Tihar Jail.
2003 James Michael Lyngdoh: James Michael Lyngdoh is an Indian civil servant who served as the Chief Election Commissioner of India from 14 June 2001 to 7 February 2004.
1965 Jayaprakash Narayan: Popularly known as ‘Lok Nayak’. Jayaprakash Narayan was an independence activist, social reformer and political leader. He gained recognition for leading the mid-1970s opposition against PM Indira Gandhi.
1974 M.S. Subbulakshmi: The Carnatic vocalist, was the first musician to be honoured with the Bharat Ratna.
1982 Manibhai Desai: The social activist, and a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi, was known as a pioneer of rural development. He was the founder of Bharatiya Agro-Industries Foundation (BAIF) which introduced Indo-European hybrid cattle breed in India.
1985 Baba Amte: Murlidhar Devidas Amte, the social activist gain recognition for his work in rehabitating and empowering people suffering from leprosy.
1989 Lakshmi Chand Jain: The Gandhian activist, and a former bureaucrat won the award for “his informed and selfless commitment to attack India’s poverty at the grass-roots levels”.
1993 Banoo Jehangir Coyaji: The physician gained recognition for his work in introducing family planning and spreading awareness regarding population control.
1997 Mahesh Chandra Mehta: The public interest attorney fought in courts against against pollution-causing industries.
2005 V. Shanta: Dr.V. Shanta, a Cancer specialist gained recongition for organizing severak care for cancer patients. Her research work in prevention and cure of cancer won her several prestigious awards.
2010 Himanshu Aggarwal
1958 Vinoba Bhave: Vinoba Bhave advocated the use of nonviolence and human rights. He is regarded as the spiritual successor to Mahatama Gandhi.
1963 Verghese Kurien: The co-founder of Amul India, is known as the ‘Father of White Revolution’ in India, which converted India from a milk-deficient nation to World’s largest producer of milk products.
1963 Dara Nusserwanji Khurody: The founder of Kaira District Co-operative Milk Producers’ Union in 1946.
1963 Tribhuvandas Patel: The Indian entrepreneur gained recognition for his contributions to the dairy industry in the country.
1966 Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay: The social reformer is mostly remembered for her contribution during India’s freedom struggle, to upliftment the socio-economic conditions of Indian women.
1971 M.S. Swaminathan: The Indian geneticist gained wide recognition for playing a leading role in Green Revolution. The program led to high-yield varieties of wheat and rice in India and helped the poor farmers in the country.
1977 Ela Bhatt: The Gandhian activist founded Self-Employed Women’s Association of India (SEWA) in 1972.
1979 Mabelle Arole and Rajanikant Arole: The couple won the prestigious award for their groundbreaking Comprehensive Rural Health Project (CRHP), an organization which works to provide primary healthcare in rural areas.
1981 Pramod Karan Sethi: The orthopaedic surgeon co-invented the “Jaipur foot”, a non-expensive and flexible artificial limb.
1982 Chandi Prasad Bhatt: The environmental activist, founded Dasholi Gram Swarajya Sangh (DGSS) which started the Chipko Movement in India.
1996 Pandurang Shastri Athavale: The spiritual leader founded Swadhyaya Parivar which was a self-study process based on the Bhagavad Gita. The program spread across nearly 100,000 villages in the country.
2000 Aruna Roy: The political and social activist is recognized for co-founding Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS).
2001 Rajendra Singh: Rajendra Singh is known as the “waterman of India”. He is recognized for his efforts in conservation of water in parts of Rajasthan.
2003 Shantha Sinha: Proffesor Shantha Sinha has gained recognition worldwise as an anti-child labour activist. She founderd Mamidipudi Venkatarangaiya Foundation (MV Foundation).
2008 Prakash Amte and Mandakini Amte: The couple won the award for their philanthropic work in the states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
Journalism, Literature, and the Creative Communication Arts
1967 Satyajit Ray: The Bengali filmmaker, is internationally regarded as one of the greatest filmmakers of the 20th century.
1975 Boobli George Verghese: The senior Indian journalist worked as the editor of leading newspapers such as Hindustan Times (1969–75) and The Indian Express (1982–86).
1976 Sombhu Mitra: The widely known film and stage actor, director, playwright and reciter is known mainly for his contribution in Bengali theater.
1981 Gour Kishore Ghosh: Prem Kumar Mahato was a celebrated humanitarian Kurmali writer and journalist, who won several awards for his works.
1982 Arun Shourie: A journalist, author and a politician, Arun Shourie has worked with the World Bank, has been a consultant to Planning Commission of India, and also has worked as an editor of Indian Express and The Times of India.
1984 R. K. Laxman: The political cartoonist gained worldwide recognition for his creation ‘The Common Man’ and for his daily cartoon strip, “You Said It” in The Times of India.
1991 K.V. Subbanna: The acclaimed Kannada dramatist founded the world famous NINASAM (Neelanakantheshwara Natya Sangha) drama institute.
1992 Ravi Shankar: Pandit Ravi Shankar, the Hindustani classical musician, gained worldwide recognition as an exponent of the sitar.
1997 Mahasweta Devi: Mahasweta Devi is a social activist and a writer. She is currently associated with TMC.
2007 Palagummi Sainath: The journalist has gained recognition for his works on social problems, rural affairs, poverty and the aftermath of globalization in India.
Peace and International Understanding (PIU)
1962 Mother Teresa: The Nobel Peace Prize winner is known for her work in serving the needs of poor people of India, mainly living in slum areas.
2000 Jockin Arputham: Jockin Arputham worked for more than 40 years in slums and shanty towns, to battle for improving the urban living conditions of poor people.
2004 Laxminarayan Ramdas: Admiral Laxminarayan Ramdas has served as Chief of Naval Staff. He was recognized for his efforts in trying to demilitarise and denuclearize South Asia.