The Ramon Magsaysay Award, often hailed as the ‘Nobel Prize of Asia,’ holds a prestigious position symbolizing exceptional spirit and impactful leadership. This year, in the 65th edition of the ceremony, four distinguished individuals from Asia were bestowed with the Ramon Magsaysay Award, placing them in the esteemed company of past laureates such as Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, Mother Teresa, Dalai Lama, and Satyajit Ray.
The awardees are Korvi Rakshand from Bangladesh, Eugenio Lemos from Timor-Leste, Miriam Coronel-Ferrer from the Philippines, and Dr Ravi Kannan R. from India. The award encompasses a certificate, a medallion featuring the likeness of the late President, and a monetary prize of $50,000.
65th Ramon Magsaysay Award 2023 Winners List
Dr Ravi Kannan R., India
Dr. Ravi Kannan R. played a pivotal role in transforming the Cachar Cancer Hospital and Research Centre (CCHRC) into a comprehensive and fully-fledged cancer treatment facility. Under his leadership, CCHRC expanded to include twenty-eight departments covering various aspects of cancer care, such as oncology, radiology, tumor registry, and more.
The vision of CCHRC, led by Dr. Kannan, is to become a state-of-the-art cancer center that provides appropriate cancer treatment to all patients, regardless of their background or status. The hospital is particularly focused on helping families suffering from poverty or grief due to cancer.
The Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation recognized Dr. Kannan for his unwavering dedication to the medical profession and his commitment to pro-health and people-centered healthcare. His work and the institution he has built have positively impacted millions in India, including those in Assam, by providing reliable and inclusive healthcare services.
Korvi Rakshand, Bangladesh
Korvi Rakshand, the visionary behind the non-profit organization JAAGO Foundation, has become the 13th Bangladeshi to be honored with the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award. Since its establishment in 2007, JAAGO has experienced remarkable growth, offering free, government-recognized English language education to more than 30,000 students across Bangladesh.
The Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation acknowledged Rakshand’s outstanding efforts in advancing inclusive education for underprivileged children in Bangladesh. His work has not only transformed educational opportunities but has also inspired local youths to champion essential societal changes.
Eugenio Lemos, Timor-Leste
Eugenio Lemos, hailing from the Southeast Asian nation of Timor-Leste, is an agriculture expert who has played a vital role in promoting sustainable agriculture and environmental conservation within his community. His journey began during his university years when he started advocating for organic farming practices. Later, he incorporated modern sustainable agro-systems while preserving traditional Timorese culture.
In 2001, Lemos founded Permakultura Timor-Lorosa’e (Permatil), an organization that conducts training camps for youths aged seventeen and above. These training programs cover topics such as water and natural resource management, agriculture, aquaculture, and agroforestry.
Beyond his agricultural endeavors, Lemos is a multifaceted individual who uses music as a medium to address social issues. He is known in his local community as a humble figure who has significantly influenced how young Timorese people perceive nature and their environment.
Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, Philippines
Miriam Coronel-Ferrer has been a prominent figure in peace negotiations and an advocate for democracy in the Philippines since the late 1970s. She played a crucial role in settling conflicts and opposing martial rule in her country. One of her significant contributions was her involvement in drafting the Philippines’ first ‘National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security,’ which was officially adopted in 2010.
Coronel-Ferrer is known for her firm stance on global political issues and her commitment to inclusivity. In 2012, she was appointed as the Chairperson for the Philippine Government’s Peace Panel. In 2020, she co-founded the Southeast Asian Women Peace Mediators group, which provides a platform for safe dialogue among women from the Philippines and other Asian countries like Myanmar and Afghanistan.
The Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation recognized Coronel-Ferrer for her unwavering belief in the power of non-violent strategies in peacebuilding and her remarkable efforts in promoting inclusivity, discouraging violence, and advocating for peace, particularly for women worldwide.
About Ramon Magsaysay Award
The Ramon Magsaysay Award is an annual award given to individuals and organizations in Asia who have made significant contributions to their communities. It is often called the “Asian Nobel Prize.”
The award was established in 1957 by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund to honor former Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay, who was known for his integrity in government and his commitment to social justice. He was assassinated in 1957, and the award was established in his honor.
The Ramon Magsaysay Award is given in five categories
- Government Service
- Public Service
- Community Leadership
- Journalism, Literature, and Creative Communication Arts
- Peace and International Understanding
- Emergent Leadership
The awardees are selected by a board of jurors who are drawn from respected individuals in Asia and around the world. The award includes a cash prize of US$50,000 and a citation.
The Ramon Magsaysay Award has been awarded to over 400 individuals and organizations from 39 countries in Asia. Some of the notable awardees include Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, and Aung San Suu Kyi.
The Ramon Magsaysay Award is a prestigious award that recognizes the achievements of individuals and organizations who have made significant contributions to their communities in Asia. It is an inspiration to people all over the world who are working to make a difference.
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