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Indian graft fighter among recipients of 2015 Magsaysay Award

An Indian anti-corruption campaigner and a fellow countryman who recycles clothes for the poor are among this year’s recipients of the Philippines’ Ramon Magsaysay Award, often regarded as Asia’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize.
The award foundation announced Wednesday that Sanjiv Chaturvedi, 40, who began investigating and blowing the whistle on government anomalies as a forest service officer in 2005, had won the award for emergent leadership for his “exemplary integrity, courage and tenacity” in exposing government corruption.
Anshu Gupta, 44, whose volunteer group provides clothing and other recycled articles to the poor and makes inexpensive sanitary pads for women, was cited for “his creative vision in transforming the culture of giving in India.”
Kommaly Chanthavong of Laos, Ligaya Fernando-Amilbangsa of the Philippines and Kyaw Thu of Myanmar are the other recipients of the award, which includes a $30,000 prize.
The foundation said Chanthavong, 71, whose work in reviving her country’s ancient art of silk weaving, had created livelihoods for thousands of poor Laotians who have been displaced by war while “preserving the dignity of women and her nation’s priceless silken cultural treasure.”
Fernando-Amilbangsa, 71, who has studied and promotes a dance form in the southern Philippines that dates back to the region’s early inhabitants, was recognized for her “single-minded crusade in preserving the endangered artistic heritage” of the southern Philippines.
A popular and award-winning actor in Myanmar, the 55-year-old Thu formed a group with a movie colleague that provides free funeral services to help relieve the emotional and financial burden of the poor. He was recognized for “his generous compassion in addressing the fundamental needs of both the living and the dead in Myanmar.”
The award is named for a well-loved Philippine president who died in a plane crash in 1957. The awards ceremony will be held in Manila on Aug. 31, Magsaysay’s birth anniversary.

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