Newsroom  Press releases  2003

8) ICRISAT felicitates Shanta Sinha (19 August 2003)

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) felicitated Ms Shanta Sinha, Secretary of the Mamidipudi Venkatarangaiya (MV) Foundation, as a token of appreciation for her winning the 2003 Ramon Magsaysay for Community Leadership.

Dr William Dar, Director General of ICRISAT, presented a citation to Ms Sinha on behalf of the management and staff of the institute. “We at ICRISAT feel proud that Ms Sinha and her organization have been selected for this global honor”, he said. “Both MV Foundation and ICRISAT share the same dream of creating poverty-free villages in the semi-arid regions of India. So we consider this global recognition to the Foundation a recognition to this dream.”

The citation presented by Dr Dar states:

The selection of Ms Sinha and the MV Foundation for the Award is a matter of great joy and pride for us at ICRISAT. Having been a part of Hyderabad's history for the last three decades, we at ICRISAT are as proud as every other citizen of this city that a Hyderabadi has been selected for this honor.

There is also a greater reason for our pride. The Foundation is a partner in the consortium of institutions with whom ICRISAT works to implement watershed development projects in Andhra Pradesh. At Kothapally, our model watershed in Ranga Reddy district, the members from the Foundation mobilized the community towards the concept of watershed development. The project could not have succeeded without this significant ingredient.

Ms Sinha and the MV Foundation are being recognized for the Magsaysay Award for their work on social mobilization and eradication of child labor in Andhra Pradesh. As the communication from the Magsaysay Award Foundation notes, Ms Sinha and her team encouraged local people to identify out-of-school and bonded children and urged their parents and employers to release them. They then organized transition camps to prepare the children to attend school. In doing so, they found allies among the youth and among teachers and local officials and even among one-time employers of child workers. The transition camps for children later developed into residential bridge schools, where the released children were introduced to a formal school curriculum.

MV Foundation's partnership with ICRISAT is for social mobilization in the watershed villages in Andhra Pradesh. The youth groups established by the Foundation have helped with the community mobilization at the watershed villages, especially at the Kothapally.

The Ramon Magsaysay Awards were established in April 1957, with funding from the New York-based Rockefeller Brothers Fund. The awards were created to commemorate the former Filipino President Ramon Magsaysay and to perpetuate his example of integrity in government and pragmatic idealism within a democratic society.

Every year the Awards are given for Asians who excel in government service; public service; community leadership; journalism, literature and creative communication arts; peace and international understanding; and emergent leadership.

For ICRISAT felicitating a partner for receiving an Award from the Philippines has a special joy, since Dr William Dar was a high-level Filipino Government representative before joining the institute.

by ICRISAT. All rights reserved.