Sanjiv Chaturvedi, Goonj's Anshu Gupta Awarded Magsaysay

Manila
Sanjiv Chaturvedi, Goonj's Anshu Gupta Awarded Magsaysay
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+0553

Whistleblower bureaucrat Sanjiv Chaturvedi, who was today conferred the Magasaysay Award for 2015 along with founder of NGO Goonj Anshu Gupta, said the prestigious award would serve as a "huge morale booster" for honest and sincere civil servants in Asia.

40-year-old Chaturvedi, who initiated probe into alleged scams at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi before being booted out as its Chief Vigilance Officer, said in his speech at the award ceremony in the Philippines capital here that Indian youth wants to eradicate corruption.

"Majority of India's population is in the age group of fifteen to thirty-five years old, and there is a strong urge among them to eradicate corruption and to bring about a transparent and equitable system of public service and governance," said the Indian Forest Service officer and currently the deputy secretary of AIIMS.

Chaturvedi, who was selected for "his exemplary integrity, courage and tenacity in uncompromisingly exposing and painstakingly investigating corruption in public office, said the award will "certainly serve as a huge morale booster for all honest and sincere civil servants everywhere in Asia".

"I accept this award with happiness - but also with a huge sense of responsibility; and I promise to do my best to live up to the standards set by the luminary community of Magsaysay awardees," he added.

Gupta, who left his corporate job to start Goonj in 1999 at the age of 27, said the award is "recognition to the many 'taken for granted, non issues' and the viable solutions which lie amongst us".

"We don't want to change the world; we are ordinary people, we want to improve it first. We strongly feel that somewhere, something is wrong.

"Because despite a whole lot of us in this room and many similar rooms across the globe who are applying so much intellect, resources, good intentions and hard work to improve our societies - poverty and other troubling issues are not getting resolved. The gap is growing, the issues becoming more complicated," Gupta added.

Terming poverty as the "biggest ongoing disaster", Gupta said it is time to stop imposing development agendas and policies, and listen to the people whom these decisions affect.

He said he has "high hopes from the youth, even as they are the most troubled with the present; the future is in their hands".

Doing good is a collective responsibility, added Gupta, whose volunteer group provides clothing to the poor and makes inexpensive sanitary pads for women.

Philippines President Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III handed over a gold medallion and a USD 30,000 prize to them.

Kommaly Chanthavong from Laos, Ligaya Fernando-Amilbangsa from the Philippines and Kyaw Thu from Myanmar were the other three 2015 Magsaysay awardees who received Asia's highest honour regarded as Asia's version of the Nobel Prize.

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