Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday congratulated Bharat Vatwani and Sonam Wangchuk on their winning the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay award this year.
“Two Indians, Bharat Vatwani, who has devoted his life to serving the mentally ill on the streets and Sonam Wangchuk, a Ladakhi inventor, are recipients of the prestigious Magasaysay Award, 2018. I congratulate them both and salute their achievements,” Gandhi tweeted.
Gandhi’s remarks came a day after Vatwani and Wangchuk were named for this year’s Ramon Magsaysay award, along with four others.
The board of trustees recognized Vatwani, 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 ostracized in our midst”.
Wangchuk, the inspiration behind the hugely popular Bollywood movie “Three Idiots”, has been 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 Ramon Magsaysay award, widely known as Asia’s premier prize, is now in its 60th year of “honouring greatness of spirit and transformative leadership in selfless service to the peoples of Asia”.