The ''Art of Living'' founder is the first Indian to receive the award, which has been mainly conferred on politicians, a statement from the Art of Living said today.
It said recipients in the past include Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, Shimon Peres, President of Israel, Yasser Arafat, former leader of Palestine Liberation Organisation, Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission and Mikhail Gorbachev, Former President of the Soviet Union.
Along with Ravi Shankar, other recipients for 2011 were Alassane Ouattara (President of Cote d''Ivoire), Adrian Nastase (Former Romanian Prime Minister), Philippe Maystadt (President of European Investment Bank), Tahar Benjelloun (Psychologist and Writer), Mohamed Ibn Chambas (Secretary General of the African, Caribbean and Pacific, Group of States) and Richard Holbrooke (U.S. Ambassador) who was awarded posthumously.
On conferring the award to Ravi Shankar yesterday, Jean Paul Carteron, Founder of Crans Montana Forum said, "In you, the East is not only leading the world in spirit, but in action as well."
"You have broadened the vision of those who are more fortunate and have shared with the less fortunate. If your teachings were followed by politicians, the world would be a different place," he said.
On receiving this award, Ravi Shankar said he would share it with all those millions who are silently working to make the world a better place, the statement said.