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Nikkei Asia Prize to Sulabh Founder Dr Bindeshwar Pathak

TOKYO: Well known Indian Social worker and the man behind low cost toilet revolution “Sulabh Sauchalya “ Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak was on Wednesday honoured with this year’s prestigious “Nikkei Asia Prize for Culture and Community “ at an award ceremony here.

Japan’s Prestigious Nikkei Asia Prize is an award which recognizes the outstanding achievements of people and organizations that have improved the lives of people throughout Asia.

Launched in 1996 by the Nikkei Inc , the coveted prize honours people in Asia who have made significant contributions in one of the three areas: regional growth; science, technology and innovation; and culture and community. 

Former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Infosys Chairman   Narayan Murty are among a few Indians who have won this coveted prize in the past. 

The award was presented by Mr. Naotoshi Okada, President of Nikkei Inc, to Sulabh International founder here.

While conferring the award, the Chairman of the Award Committee Mr Fujio Mitarai said that Dr Pathak was being bestowed with the honour for “tackling two of his country's biggest challenges—poor hygiene and discrimination.” 

He was awarded under the category of “Culture and Community”. 

The other two winners of the award are Ma Jun (Economic and Business Innovation), a Chinese environmentalist, for using the power of the internet to promote cleaner industry and Professor Nguyen Thanh Liem (Science and Technology), a Vietnamese doctor, for bringing cutting-edge medicine to children. 

Dr. Pathak invented two-pit pour-flush ecological compost toilets that have helped provide low cost environment friendly toilets to millions of people in the developing world.  

It has also ensured the safety for rural women and freedom from the manual labour of removing human waste. 

The Nikkei Asia Prizes were established in 1996 to commemorate the 120th anniversary of Nikkei Inc's main Japanese-language newspaper. 

While accepting this award, Dr. Pathak dedicated it to the downtrodden section of the society for whom he has been waging campaign for more than five decades. 

“This award will be another milestone in my commitment to the service of the society in Asia in particular and world in general,” he added.

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