Taiwan vegetable vendor among winners of Magsaysay award

Featured - July 27th, 2012

A Taiwanese vegetable vendor was among the winners of the this year’s Magsaysay award, AFP reports.

The award, Asia’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize, was awarded to several other people for “their work in helping ease Asian poverty and empowering ordinary people”, including an Indonesian wildlife protection group founder and Bangladeshi child labor activist and lawyer. Chen Shu-chu donated her earnings from selling vegetables, worth $320,000, to charity despite reportedly having to sleep on the floor and eat only twice a day.

The Philippine-based foundation, which is named after former president, Ramon Magsaysay, who died in a plane crash in 1957, said in a statement: “… on occasion we are reminded that in a most elemental way, one can begin to change the world through seemingly ordinary acts of empathy and magnanimity.”

Other winners that will be awarded in Manila include: Ambrosius Ruwindrijarto, 40, founder of wildlife protection group Telpak for engaging on undercover investigations of illegal endangered hardwood-trade;  Syeda Rizwana Hasan, 44, and for initiating a court battle against toxic-laden ships that employs child laborers; Romulo Davide, 74, for discovering worm-trapping fungi crucial to the Philippines’ first biological pest control product; ex-priest Kulandei Francis, 66, for his fund which raised $40 million for health and sanitation, housing, and children’s education programmes in India, and; Yang Saing Koma, 46, for putting up Cambodian Centre for Study and Development in Agriculture, a non-governmental organisation that helps farmers improve rice fields.