Nileema Mishra, Harish Hande bring Magsaysay award to India

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Manila, Jul 28: India has once again brought the coveted and Asia's prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award home for the year 2011. The proud recipients are Nileema Mishra and Harish Hande. While Nileema is a woman lender who empowers women to the poor in Maharashtra; Harish on the other hand is a US-trained Indian engineer who revolutionised the use of solar lights. Both are among two of the six people who were awarded the prestigious award.

The other recipients of the award are Koul Panah, who was awarded for carrying out exceptional work to restore democracy in Cambodia; Hasanain Juaini who was instrumental in setting up an Islamic school for girls in Indonesia; Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation, Inc (AIDFI), a Filipino charity group; Indonesian Tri Mumpuni, who promoted micro hydro power technology. The Magsasay award is considered Asia's Nobel prize.

All winners will receive a certificate, a medallion and a cash prize in Manila on Aug 31. The award is instituted in the name of the Philippine president who died in a plane crash in 1957.

On the Indian winners, the award foundation president Carmencita T Abella has been quoted as saying, "The two had helped to harness technologies to empower their countrymen and created waves of progressive change across Asia."

Harish Hanade is understood to have given the gift of light to over 120,000 households that had been living in darkness all these years. He runs his own solar electric light company. The foundation noted, "His passionate and pragmatic efforts to put solar power technology in the hands of the poor has encouraged the poor to become asset creators."

On Nileema Mishra, the foundation said that she was recognised 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."

OneIndia News

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