In the 65th edition of the Ramon Magsaysay Awards, often hailed as the ‘Nobel Prize of Asia’ for its celebration of exceptional spirit and influential leadership, four distinguished Asians were honored. These individuals, inspired by the likes of Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, Mother Teresa, Dalai Lama, Satyajit Ray, and others, have left a lasting mark in their respective fields. The awardees, Korvi Rakshand from Bangladesh, Eugenio Lemos from Timor-Leste, Miriam Coronel-Ferrer from the Philippines, and Dr. Ravi Kannan R. from India, each received the award, which includes a certificate, a medallion bearing the likeness of the late President Magsaysay, and a cash prize of USD 50,000.
Korvi Rakshand: Championing Inclusive Education in Bangladesh
Korvi Rakshand, founder of the non-profit organization JAAGO Foundation, became the 13th Bangladeshi to receive the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award. Since its inception in 2007, JAAGO has grown exponentially, offering free, government-recognized English language education to over 30,000 students across Bangladesh. Rakshand’s notable work in developing inclusive education for underprivileged children has catalyzed significant societal changes among local youth.
Eugenio Lemos: Transforming Agriculture and Environmental Awareness in Timor-Leste
Eugenio Lemos, an agricultural expert from Timor-Leste, has been a pioneer in promoting organic farming and sustainable agroecosystems, blending modern practices with traditional Timorese culture. In 2001, he established Permakultura Timor-Lorosa’e (Permatil), hosting training camps that educate youths on water and natural resource management, agriculture, aquaculture, and agroforestry. Lemos, an activist, songwriter, and singer, employs his music to address social issues and has become a catalyst for changing how young Timorese perceive nature.
Miriam Coronel-Ferrer: A Trailblazer for Peace and Inclusivity in the Philippines
Miriam Coronel-Ferrer has played a pivotal role in settling conflicts and resisting martial rule in the Philippines since the late 1970s. She contributed significantly to the drafting and subsequent adoption of the country’s ‘National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security.’ As Chairperson of the Philippine Government’s Peace Panel, she co-founded the Southeast Asian Women Peace Mediators, fostering dialogue among women in the Philippines and other Asian nations. Her unwavering belief in non-violent strategies for peacebuilding has made her a powerful advocate for inclusion, demilitarization, and peace for women everywhere.
Dr. Ravi Kannan R.: Revolutionizing Cancer Care in India
Dr. Ravi Kannan R., the first formally trained oncologist at the Cachar Cancer Hospital and Research Centre (CCHRC), has transformed the facility into a comprehensive treatment center with 28 departments, focusing on various aspects of cancer care. Under his leadership, CCHRC aspires to be a state-of-the-art cancer center, offering inclusive care to all, regardless of their background or status. Dr. Kannan’s devotion to people-centered healthcare has positively impacted millions in India, especially those from Assam, providing them with reliable and compassionate cancer care.
These remarkable individuals embody the spirit of Ramon Magsaysay’s legacy, making substantial contributions to their communities and their fields of expertise.