While Karnataka-born Bezwada Wilson, who has been devoted to his Safai Karamchari Andolan for 32 years, won the award for “asserting the inalienable right to a life of human dignity”, the Chennai-born Krishna was awarded for “ensuring social inclusiveness in culture”.
The prestigious award has been named after former Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay and is bestowed to those who have provided their selfless service to the society in Asia.
“In electing Thodur Madabusi Krishna to receive the 2016 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Emergent Leadership, the board of trustees recognises his forceful commitment as artist and advocate to art’s power to heal India’s deep social divisions, breaking barriers of caste and class to unleash what music has to offer not just for some but for all,” read Krishna’s citation, according to Indian Express .
“Bezwada Wilson, 50, has spent 32 years on his crusade, leading not only to a sense of moral outrage but also with remarkable skills in mass organizing, and working within India’s complex legal system. SKA has grown into a network of 7,000 members in 500 districts across the country. Of the estimated 600,000 scavengers in India, SKA has liberated around 300,000,” read Wilson’s citation, as per a media report.
Other winners of the award included the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers, Dompet Dhuafa from Indonesia, Vientiane Rescue from Laos and Conchita Carpio-Morales from the Philippines.