An Indian NGO, Manav Seva Sansthan (MSS), was on Thursday given a $100,000 award for its work among disadvantaged communities.
The prize, given by the UK-based international charity the STARS Foundation, specifically recognised the MSS campaign against child trafficking along the India-Nepal border. It said the MSS was at the “forefront of the fight against child-trafficking in south Asia”.
“We were particularly impressed with how effectively it is working with cross-regional officials to ensure the sustainability of its efforts,” said Zahra Thioune, ASIA Programme Officer, STARS Foundation.
Rakesh Nair, a senior official of the Gorakhpur-based MSS, said that in the past eight years it had rescued 7,000 children and women from the “clutches of human traffickers”. The MSS, he said, also ran a campaign for women’s empowerment and Dalit rights.
“Our aim is to ensure the development of the poorest of the poor and the socially excluded,” Mr Nair said
Describing the award as a “morale booster”, he said the prize money would be used to build a rehabilitation home for victims of human trafficking.
A spokesperson for STARS Foundation said it gave six awards to NGOs from Asia and Africa every year after a rigorous assessment of their work.