Nepal’s social crusader Anuradha Koirala, who has rescued more than 12,000 women from human trafficking and Maharashtra’s social worker Prakash Amte were among 10 prominent winners named here for the Harmony Foundation’s prestigious Mother Teresa Memorial International Award for Social Justice-2014.
Koirala, 65, through her Maiti Nepal in Kathmandu, has helped rescue and rehabilitate over 12,000 women from the flesh trade in India and on the India-Nepal borders in the past over two decades to earn worldwide acclaim.
Amte, along with his wife Mandakini, continues the work of medical services among the tribals of Gadchiroli district in eastern Maharashtra and bordering states of Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
The work, initiated by the legendary Baba Amte, won him a Magsaysay Award, and in 2008, even Prakash and Mandakini Amte were conferred the same award.
The other prominent awardees include Dr. Sangthankima of Aizawl who has rendered notable services in rehabilitating alcoholics and destitute in northeast India; and social worker Medha Patkar and Indian Administrative Service officer Ujjwal Uke for initiating reforms to protect children who have been sexually exploited.
Former bureaucrat Lakshmidhar Mishra won it for fighting against bonded labour; Sunitha Krishnan for rehabilitation of victims of sexual abuse; Vandana Shiva for social work; and journalist Rifat Abdullah and Udaan TV serial which highlights bonded labour.
Harmony Foundation president Abraham Mathai said this is the only award which is recognized by the Missionaries of Charity, founded by Mother Teresa in Kolkata.
In 2012, the Harmony Foundation had conferred the Mother Teresa Award upon Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousefzai, who has bagged this year’s Nobel Peace Prize along with Indian child rights activist Kailash Satyarthi.