“I never work for or expect any award.” This was the response of Kulandei Francis, who has been chosen for the Ramon Magsaysay Award for the year 2012, for economic empowerment of thousands of women and their families in rural India.
Mr. Francis, who had just been informed by the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation, told The Hindu that “it is a recognition of my hard and sincere work for over three decades for the development and livelihood improvement of the rural people in Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri districts besides parts of Vellore district.”
Mr. Francis, Director of the Krishnagiri-based NGO Integrated Village Development Programme (IVD), thanked his staff and self-help members for their cooperation. “I could not have won such a prestigious award without them,” he said.
The Foundation said in the announcement that Mr. Kulandei Francis was being recognised for “his visionary zeal, his profound faith in community energies, and his sustained programmes in pursuing the holistic economic empowerment of thousands of women and their families in rural India.”
Founded 22 years ago, the IVDP was responsible for the formation of more than 7,000 self-help groups in the three districts. So far, the value of transactions through the SHGs was over Rs.2,500 crore and nearly Rs.250 crore lay with the accounts of the SHG members.
He was invited by foundation to receive the award at Manila on August 31. He would leave Krishnagiri on August 24 to receive the award, Mr Francis said.