Manila (AsiaNews) - Six outstanding individuals from Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Philippines and Taiwan will receive the 2012 Ramon Magsaysay Award, a prize also known as the Asian Nobel. The Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation announced the winners today. The award ceremony will be held at the Philippine International Convention Center on 31 August. Each laureate will receive a medallion bearing the likeness of the late president, a certificate and a cash prize. This year's winners will join 290 other men and women whose deeds were recognised with Asia's highest award.
All six were "all deeply involved in creating sustainable solutions to poverty and its accompanying disempowerment," foundation president Carmencita Abella said in a statement. "Working selflessly in unpretentious yet powerful ways, they are showing how commitment, competence, and collaborative leadership can truly transform millions of individual lives and galvanize progressive community action. [. . .] They are all deeply rooted in hope."
The Award is given in six categories: government service; public service; community leadership; journalism, literature and creative communication arts; peace and international understanding; and emergent leadership.
The 2012 award goes to the following individuals:
Chen Shu-Chu, a vegetable vendor from Taiwan, recognised for "the pure altruism of her personal giving, which reflects a deep, consistent, quiet compassion, and has transformed the lives of the numerous Taiwanese she has helped."
Romulo Davide, an agricultural scientist from the Philippines, recognised for "his steadfast passion in placing the power and discipline of science in the hands of farmers in the Philippines, who have consequently multiplied their yields, created productive farming communities, and rediscovered the dignity of their labour."
Kulandei Francis, an activist from India, recognised for "his visionary zeal, his profound faith in community energies, and his sustained programs in pursuing the holistic economic empowerment of thousands of women and their families in rural India."
Syeda Rizwana Hasan, a lawyer from Bangladesh, recognised for "her uncompromising courage and impassioned leadership in a campaign of judicial activism in Bangladesh that affirms the people's right to a good environment as nothing less than their right to dignity and life."
Yang Saing Koma, an agricultural expert from Cambodia, recognised for "his creative fusion of practical science and collective will that has inspired and enabled vast numbers of farmers in Cambodia to become more empowered and productive contributors to their country's economic growth."
Ambrosius Ruwindrijarto, an environmentalist from Indonesia, recognised for "his sustained advocacy for community-based natural resource management in Indonesia, leading bold campaigns to stop illegal forest exploitation, as well as fresh social enterprise initiatives that engage the forest communities as their full partners."
Ramon Magsaysay (1907-1957) became the third president of the Philippines after the Second World War. His life and example were highly influential at home and abroad.
The award given in his memory was created in 1958, a year after his death. So far, 290 individuals have received the prize, which some have dubbed the Asian Nobel Prize.