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Bezwada Wilson and TM Krishna wins Ramon Magsaysay Award 2016

Human rights activist Bezwada Wilson and south Indian classical musician T.M. Krishna have been conferred the Ramon Magsaysay Award for 2016 on 27th July, along with Philippine ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, Indonesian charity organisation Dompet Dhuafa, Laos’ free ambulance service Vientiane Rescue and Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers.  
Bezwada Wilson, the national convenor of the Safai Karmachari Andolan (SKA), has been named an awardee for “asserting the inalienable right to a life of human dignity,” while Krishna has received the award for “social inclusiveness in culture”, Wilson will be felicitated for “asserting the inalienable right to a life of human dignity”.  50-year-old Wilson, born into a dalit family involved in manual scavenging in Kolar Gold Fields township in Karnataka, was the first in his family to pursue a higher education. "Treated as an outcast in school and acutely aware of his family's lot, Bezwada was filled with great anger; but he would later channel this anger to a crusade to eradicate manual scavenging," the citation said.
TM Krishna, born to a privileged, Brahmin family in Chennai, was trained from the age of six in the aristocratic Carnatic music under masters of the form. The other Indian awardee, 40-year-old Krishna has been hailed in the citation as "showing that music can indeed be a deeply transformative force in personal lives and society itself." "Though he earned a degree in economics, Krishna chose to be an artist and quickly rose to become a highly-admired concert performer of Carnatic classical music," his citation said.
Among other Indians to win the award in the past are Sanjiv Chaturvedi (2015), Anshu Gupta (2015), Harish Hande (2012), Deepa Joshi (2009), P. Sainath (2007), V. Shantha (2005), Aruna Roy (2000), Kiran Bedi (1994), Ela Bhatt (1977), Baba Amte (1985) and Vinoba Bhave (1958). The Ramon Magsaysay Award is one of Asia's most prestigious awards celebrating leadership in Asia. The awardees are presented with a certificate and a medallion with an embossed image of Ramon Magsaysay, former President of the Phillippines after whom the award is named. The awards will be presented on August 31 at a formal ceremony in Manila.


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