Anshu Gupta and Sanjiv Chaturvedi are among the five Asians who received the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay award this year for their incredible work. The award is regarded as Asia’s highest honour and is even called the region’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize.
Social worker and Goonj founder Anshu Gupta, along with whistleblower and former AIIMS Chief Vigilance officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi, won the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay award on Wednesday.
Anshu won the award for “his creative vision in transforming the culture of giving in India, his enterprising leadership in treating cloth as a sustainable development resource for the poor.”
Sanjiv received the honour for “his exemplary integrity, courage and tenacity in uncompromisingly exposing and painstakingly investigating corruption in public office, and his resolute crafting of program and system improvements to ensure that government honorably serves the people of India.”
They are two Indians among five Asian individuals selected for the award from countries like India, Laos, Myanmar, and the Philippines. The Ramon Magsaysay award is an annual award established in honour of former Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay to celebrate his integrity in governance and great leadership.
The award which was established in 1957, is regarded as Asia’s highest honour and is even called the region’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize.
Anshu who has created a huge impact in the society by his model of reusing clothes and other materials to turn into a valuable resources, wants to create “a parallel economy which is not cash-based but trash-based”. He left his corporate job in 1999 to start Goonj which ships over 70,000 kgs of material a month and has converted over 1,000 tonnes of discarded material into useful resources for the poor.
On the other hand, Chaturvedi has always maintained a fair attitude and has shown enough courage time and again to expose corruption and discrepancies in the system. Chaturvedi was removed from the post of Chief Vigilance officer at AIIMS as he had detected the irregularities at the institute.
With the recent win, Anshu and Sanjiv have joined the league of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, social activist and former IPS officer Kiran Bedi and social activist Aruna Roy who have won the award in recent years.
This year’s winners will be formally honoured on August 31 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Other award winners include Kommaly Chanthavong, from Laos, Ligaya Fernando-Amilbangsa, from the Philippines and Kyaw Thu, from Myanmar.