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RTI leader Kejrival awarded Magsaysay

RTI leader Kejrival awarded Magsaysay

Arvind Kejriwal has won 2006 Magsaysay Award for his contribution to India's right-to-information movement.

Kuala Lumpur: Head of Delhi-based Parivartan citizen's movement, Arvind Kejriwal on Monday was selected for 2006 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 Philippine).

They would be presented the award, which is 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 recognizes 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.

Kejriwal, a mechanical engineer from IIT Kharagpur, joined the civil services as a member of the Indian Revenue Service in 1992. However, he has since resigned from civil services.

But for the winner of the prestigious award, the victory brought in mixed feelings.

Arvind Kejriwal regrets that he has not received due recognition for his work in his own country.

"I am happy as well as sad," he said, as he heard the news of his selection for this year's award for emergent leadership.

He said the award was an international recognition of his fight against corruption, which has not been recognised by the government.

"The government's decision to change the Right to Information Act will kill the entire legislation," he said.

He said by keeping file notings outside the purview of the Act, the government proposes to keep key information of a particular decision making process away from the reach of the common man.

"Being in government service, I know how important these notings are every information of any decision making process has a link with the noting," Kejriwal said.
first published:July 31, 2006, 17:05 IST