Seven years ago, seeing the force of a simple act of human generosity—one
man's voluntary gift of land—in the solution of a bitter village conflict,
VINOBA BHAVE dedicated himself to the propagation of a new kind of social
revolution in India.
The vehicle he originated for this work, known as the Bhoodan Movement, has
as its primary tangible objective "land for the landless." Its intangible
implications are even more significant. Emphasizing a voluntary giving—first
of land and more recently also of cash, kind, labor, intelligence, life and
of whole villages—he has sought to bring his people to a fuller realization
of man's nobler nature.
Many among his countrymen have responded to his abiding faith in the basic
goodness of human character and the tempering effect of human conscience. In
them, he has awakened a consciousness of inner strength and nurtured a
social morality. Thus, in his seven years of walking to the villages of
India, he has labored to create with gentle persuasion the climate for
social reform wherein, by ways he has proposed, needed change could be
He has sought nothing for himself, least of all recognition of his
achievements. Rather, his has been a life selflessly devoted to finding and
conveying to his people an approach to the problem of poverty that is within
the means of every man. He, in his way, as our late President Ramon
Magsaysay did in his, has given himself humbly and unstintingly in service
to his people.
In electing ACHARYA VINOBA BHAVE to receive the first Ramon Magsaysay Award
for Community Leadership, the Board of Trustees recognizes his furtherance
of the cause of arousing his countrymen toward voluntary action in relieving
social injustice and economic inequalities.