India's Bharat Vatwani and Sonam Wangchuk will be honoured with the Ramon Magsaysay Award this year. Along with these two, Youk Chhang from Cambodia, Maria de Lourdes Martins Cruz from East Timor, Howard Dee from the Philippines and Vo Thi Hoang Yen from Vietnam also got the award. The six Magsaysay awardees will each receive a certificate, a medallion and a cash prize. They will receive the award on 31 August at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
The foundation said that Bharat is being awarded for his work for the mentally-afflicted people in India. "He is being recognized for his tremendous courage and healing compassion in embracing India’s mentally-afflicted destitute, and his steadfast and magnanimous dedication to the work of restoring and affirming the human dignity of even the most ostracised in our midst."
Sonam Wangchuk, the man on whom Aamir Khan's character in the movie '3 Idiots' was based, has also been recognised for his community-driven reform of learning systems. "He is being recognized for his uniquely systematic, collaborative and community-driven reform of learning systems in remote northern India, thus improving the life opportunities of Ladakhi youth, and his constructive engagement of all sectors in local society to harness science and culture creatively for economic progress, thus setting an example for minority peoples in the world," the foundation said.
The Ramon Magsaysay Award is Asia's highest honour which celebrates the memory and leadership example of the third Philippine president after whom the award is named. It is given every year to individuals or organizations in Asia who manifest selfless service.