The Magsaysay Awards are of ten referred to as Asia’s Nobel Prize. Each year, on August 31 in Manila - the capital of Philippines, six persons or organizations who through their selfless work and sterling leadership qualities have transformed the lives of people in Asia are hundred with this Award. In the last five decades of its existence, more than forty Indian men and women have won this prestigious Award for work as diverse as innovative agricultural techniques, fearless journalism, revival of handicrafts, building economically self-reliant women communities, social activism and contribution to the performing arts. Starting with Vinoba Bhave who received the Award in the very first year of its inception in 1958 this book profiles the inspiring lives and work of all the Indian Magsaysay laureates still date.
The Magsaysay Awards were constituted in memory of Ramon Del Fierro Magsaysay who was the President of the Philippines from 1953 to 1957. Magsaysay’s principles and thoughts left an indelible impact not only on his own countrymen but also on the people of the entire world as he exemplified the highest form of leadership characterised by justice, equality and selfless service.
The Magsaysay Awards were first given in 1958 and continue till today. The Magsaysay Awards are bestowed on persons and organisations for their selfless leadership and whose lives and works have made Asia a better place to live in by addressing issues of human development across boundaries of culture, politics and religion with courage and creativity. The Awards are given in six categories: government service; public service; community leadership; journalism, literature and creative communication arts; peace and international understanding and the category, emergent leadership was added in the year 2000. A person working in any part of Asia is eligible for these awards regardless of caste, creed, religion or gender.
It is hoped that reading about the lives and works of the Indians who have been honoured with the Magsaysay Award will inspire young people to apply their talents and energies to selfless and innovative service, preserving the values of integrity, respect for human dignity and principled governance that characterised the work of the late President Ramon Magsaysay.
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