08/01/2006, 00.00
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Winners of Magsaysay, "Asian Nobel prize", announced

The Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation has announced the names of six winners: a doctor, retired editor and human rights activist shine out.

Manila (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation yesterday announced the winners of its prestigious annual award that is considered to be Asia's answer to the Nobel prizes. Among the names chosen this year, those that shine out are a group that builds homes for the poor, using money offered by Filipino migrants, and the anti-corruption drive of a youth in Delhi.

The foundation decided to honour the Filipino businessman, Antonio Meloto, and his Gawad Kalinga Community Development Foundation, which has built more than 850 housing developments for more than 100,000 families.

Also from the Philippines, Eugenia Apostol will receive an award. She is an 80-year-old retired editor who contributed to changing public opinion about the dictator Ferdinando Marcos through her paper, Mr and Mrs

Other winners include the Cambodian Ek Sonn Chan, Korean Park Won-soon, the Nepalese, Sanduk Ruit, and the Indian, Arvind Kejiriwal, all for their social commitment. Chan will be recognized for his work in rehabilitating the Phnom Penh water supply while Park will be awarded for his "activism fostering social justice and a generous spirit in South Korea's young democracy".

Dr Ruit, head of the Tilganga Eye Centre, was cited for his work for the blind while Kejriwal – head of a citizen's movement against corruption called Parivartan – was awarded for "empowering New Delhi's poorest citizens to fight corruption".

The Magsaysay Award is named after a Filipino president who died in a 1957 plane crash. The award ceremony is on August 31.

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