Two Indians honored with the prestigious Magsaysay Award

Thursday, 28 July 2011, 10:40 Hrs   |    9 Comments
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Manila: Nileema Mishra, a woman lender to the poorest in Maharashtra, and U.S.-trained Indian engineer Harish Hande, who revolutionized the use of solar lights, are among six people who have been awarded Asia's prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award for 2011.

"The two had helped to harness technologies to empower their countrymen and created waves of progressive change across Asia," Award Foundation President, Carmencita T Abella announced.

Filipino charity group Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation Inc (AIDFI), Hasanain Juaini, who set up an Islamic school for girls in Indonesia, his fellow countrywoman Tri Mumpuni, who promoted micro hydro power technology and Koul Panah, working to restore democracy in Cambodia are the other winners of the award, often described Asia's Nobel prize.

The winners will receive a certificate, a medallion and a cash prize in Manila on August 31. The award is named after famous Philippine president who died in a plane crash in 1957.

Nileema Mishra

Nileema, who holds a master's degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Pune, is the founder of Bhagini Nivedita Gramin Vigyan Niketan which provides rotating interest-free loans to farmers in Maharashtra's Bahadarpur village.

"Nileema Mishra was recognized for her purpose-driven zeal to work tirelessly with villagers in Maharashtra to address both their aspirations and their adversities through collective action and heightened confidence," says the award foundation.

The 39-year-old publicity shy activist is fondly called Didi by the villagers who do not have to knock the doors of banks or private moneylenders to take loans.
Source: PTI
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