IN PHOTOS: 'Heroes of Asia' receive 2016 Magsaysay Awards
MANILA, Philippines – Three individuals and 3 organizations received the 2016 Ramon Magsaysay Awards on Wednesday night, August 31, the birth anniversary of the late Philippine president after whom the leadership award was named.
Receiving the Magsaysay Awards – considered the Asian equivalent of the Nobel Peace Prize – at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Pasay City were:
- India: Bezwada Wilson - for asserting the inalienable right to a life of human dignity
- India: Thodur Madabusi Krishna - for ensuring social inclusiveness in culture
- Philippines: Conchita Carpio Morales - for restoring faith in the rule of law
- Indonesia: Dompet Dhuafa - for expanding the transformative impact of zakat
- Japan: Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers - for building a world of genuine solidarity
- Laos: Vientiane Rescue - for volunteering to save lives at risk
When the awardees were named in July, Ramon Magsaysay Awards Foundation president Carmencita Abella referred to them as "heroes of Asia," who had created solutions to problems in their own countries and in the region.
Vice President Leni Robredo delivered an inspirational speech, noting that her late husband, Naga City Mayor and later Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, received the Magsaysay Award for Government Service on the same stage in 2000.
Meet the region's modern-day heroes here:
BEZWADA WILSON, India
Bezwada Wilson is recognized for leading a grassroots movement to uplift the dignity of dalits, or India's untouchables.
Representated by Bounmy Khamvongsa and Sebastien Perret, the non-profit organization Vientiane Rescue is recognized for its "heroic work in saving Laotian lives in a time and place of great need" through the round the clock rescue and emergency services by volunteers.
The awardees each received a certificate, a medallion with the likeness of President Magsaysay, and a cash prize.
There are now 312 recipients of the awards, which the foundation started giving out in 1958. (READ: By the numbers: Ramon Magsaysay Awardees) – with a report from Katerina Francisco/Rappler.com