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Magsaysay award for Delhi activist

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Last updated on: July 31, 2006 16:34 IST

The head of Delhi-based Parivartan, Arvind Kejriwal, was on Monday selected for this year's Ramon Magsaysay Award for his contribution to India's Right-to-Information movement and empowering poor citizens to fight corruption.

Besides Kejriwal, the other five selected for the award are Sanduk Ruit (Nepal), Ek Sonn Chan (Cambodia) Park Won Soon (South Korea) and Eugenia Duran Apostol and Antonio Meloto (both from the Philippines).

They would be presented the award, Asia's version of the Nobel Prize, at a ceremony in Manila on August 31. The annual awards are named after late Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay.

In electing Kejriwal, 38, to receive the 2006 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Emergent Leadership, the board of trustees recognises his activating India's Right-to-Information movement at the grassroots, empowering New Delhi's poorest citizens to fight corruption by holding government accountable to the people, the organisers said in a citation.

Kejriwal, a mechanical engineer from IIT Kharagpur, who joined the civil services as a member of the Indian Revenue Service in 1992, is currently on leave from the government for two years.

"The brazen corruption of the high and the mighty may grab headlines, but for ordinary people it is the ubiquity of everyday corruption that weighs heaviest. And that is demoralising.

Arvind Kejriwal, founder of India's Parivartan, understands this, which is why his campaign for change begins with the small things," the organisers said.

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