Well known Indian Social Reformer and the man behind low cost toilet revolution known as Sulabh Social Movement “ Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak was today honoured with this year’s prestigious “Nikkei Asia Prize for Culture and Community “ at an award ceremony in Tokyo today.
The Japan’s Prestigious Nikkei Asia Prize is an award which recognizes the outstanding achievements of people and organizations that have improved the lives of people throughout Asia.
Launched in 1996 by the Nikkei Inc., the coveted prize honours people in Asia who have made significant contributions in one of the three areas: regional growth; science, technology and innovation; and culture and community.
Former Prime Minister Of India Dr. Manmohan Singh, Infosys Chairman Mr. Narayan Murti are among few Indians who won this coveted prize in the past.
The award was presented by Mr. Naotoshi Okada, President of Nikkei Inc, to Sulabh International founder here this morning.
While conferring the award, the Chairman of the Award Committee Mr Fujio Mitarai said that Dr Pathak was being bestowed the honor for “tackling two of his country’s biggest challenges—poor hygiene and discrimination.”
He was awarded under the category of “Culture and Community”.
The other two winners of the award are Ma Jun (Economic and Business Innovation), a Chinese environmentalist, for using the power of the internet to promote cleaner industry and Professor Nguyen Thanh Liem (Science and Technology), a Vietnamese doctor, for bringing cutting-edge medicine to children.
Day before yesterday the Prime Minister Of Japan Mr. Shinzo Abe also met the awardees of this prize.
Dr. Pathak invented two-pit pour-flush ecological compost toilets that has helped provide low cost environment friendly toilets to millions of people in the developing world.
It has also ensured the safety for rural women and freedom from the manual labour of removing human waste.
The Nikkei Asia Prizes were created in 1996 to commemorate the 120th anniversary of Nikkei Inc’s main Japanese-language newspaper.
The company publishes Japan’s leading business newspaper, The Nikkei, and also operates in Japanese, English, and Chinese languages.
Experts from across the Asia-Pacific region submit nominations.
Candidates cannot nominate themselves, and Japanese individuals and organizations are ineligible.
While accepting this award, Dr. Pathak dedicated it to the downtrodden section of the society for whom he is waging campaign for more than five decades.
“This award will be another milestone in my commitment to the service of the society in Asia in particular and world in general,” he added.