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Deep Joshi delighted on winning Magsaysay Award

New Delhi , Wed, 05 Aug 2009 ANI

New Delhi, Aug 5 (ANI): Social activist Deep Joshi, who was named for the coveted Ramon Magsaysay Award for his work for the development of rural communities, has expressed his delight on winning the award.


Joshi, who has management and engineering degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was cited for decades of development work in rural India, and founding a non-profit organization, "Pradan" that recruits university graduates and grooms them to do grassroots projects in poor communities.


Hailing from Pithoragarh district in Uttarakhand, Joshi along with five others were last week named for the award. However, 62-year-old Joshi is the only Indian to receive the award this year.


"Professionally, there is a sense of achievement. As a human being, there is a sense of achievement. This is something that I believed in. I worked for it, of course with all the colleagues that I have and today the world has acknowledged it. So one gets a kick out of that," said Joshi.


Joshi was hopeful that the award would convey a positive message and more youngsters would come forward to work for the rural communities.


"When someone chooses to work into development, going and working in some villages, parent gets very bothered. So hopefully this would communicate to people in the country that look if your son or daughter has chosen to do something like this, well it's intellectually challenging, professionally challenging and as a human being, a very meaningful endeavour," added Joshi.


When asked about the challenges they face when working in Maoist infested villages, Joshi said that many a times young people choose not to work for them as they feel threatened.


"When a young woman wants to work with us, we say, we can offer you position in Jharkhand. Immediately, the questions come, from parents particularly, is it safe? There have been cases where youngsters chose not to join us because the only thing we could offer were places like this," said Joshi.


He further said that the biggest challenge is to convince young and educated people that they can have a life even after devoting some time of their life working for the NGOs.


"I think getting people on board is still a challenge. Actually getting people on board is not as large a challenge as giving them the confidence that they could move on to any other sector, anytime they want to," said Joshi.


Also cited for the award were two Chinese men, a social activist from Myanmar, a Filipino and a Thai woman. (ANI)


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