The Ramon Magsaysay award foundation said today that it has chosen social worker Anshu Gupta and Sanjiv Chaturvedi, former chief vigilance officer at AIIMS, for the prestigious award.
The foundation said in a statement that Chaturvedi was being recognized for "his exemplary integrity, courage and tenacity in uncompromisingly exposing and painstakingly investigating corruption in public office".
Chaturvedi had a two-year stint as chief vigilance officer — the anti-corruption watchdog — at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). He had been outspoken about alleged irregularities at the prestigious institution, and had led 150 investigations in which various officials were penalized.
Chaturvedi was pursuing further probes when he was abruptly shifted out of his post, on the orders of Harsh Vardhan, former health minister in the Modi government.
Gupta, the second awardee, is the CEO of Goonj, a non-governmental organisation which distributes clothes and other relief material in disaster-hit areas, such as Nepal after the calamitous April earthquake.
The foundation said that Gupta was chosen for "his creative vision in transforming the culture of giving in India, his enterprising leadership in treating cloth as a sustainable development resource for the poor".
Apart from the two Indians, Kommaly Chanthavong from Laos, Ligaya Fernando-Amilbangsa from the Philippines and Kyaw Thu from Myanmar will be honoured with the award, which is Asia's highest award for public service and is named after Ramon del Fierro Magsaysay, the seventh President of the Republic of the Philippines.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, former IPS officer Kiran Bedi, and social activist Aruna Roy are among other Indians who have received the award in recent years.
(With agency inputs)