I do not have words to express my feelings, my
gratitude, for the great honor done to me. It is an honor, not only to my adopted country,
India, where thousands of my Indian co-workers, colleagues and friends have supported me
in my endeavors over the last 40 years, but to thc far away land of my birth. I believe I
am the first citizen of Denmark to have received this prestigious Award. On their behalf I
accept this honor in ale humility.
Denmark is a country well known for its interest in promoting international understanding.
However, I have lived the major part of my life in India where the Indian government has
been, and is, making a continuous and conscious effort to promote understanding and
establish cordial relations with all other nations of the world. My strong involvement in
that country has given me the opportunity of closely associating with thousands of Indians
in all possible walks of life and, fortunately, of gaining their friendship and close
The success that came my way in helping to foster the advancement of industrial
development in that great country can be attributed to a good deal of luck but mainly to
my fortune in working with a competent and devoted team. The Larsen & Toubro Group now
has a happy family of over 10,000 direct employees and more than 25,000 shareholders.
I, therefore, share this unique honor bestowed on me today with all those persons with
whom I have had the privilege of working in India, as well as with the company's
collaborators, contacts and customers on all five continents.
The Trustees of the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation, though located in the distant
Philippines, have created a competent and effective organization to keep a watchful and
kindly eye, year after year, on happenings in all the countries of Asia. They have
succeeded in impartially identifying individuals and groups each year and, assessing the
contributions made, to reward them annually on the birth date of your illustrious late
president, Ramon Magsaysay.
This generous gesture alone is, in my opinion, helping to create lasting understanding
amongst all Asians and the peoples of other nations attached to Asia, thus bringing them
closer to each other, and to the rest of the world. Indeed, it truly reflects the ideals
and the spirit of your great departed leader, President Ramon Magsaysay.
In a few days, when my wife and I return to India, we will carry with us our admiration
for the Foundation, the government and the people of the Philippines and, of course, the
unforgettable impact of today's function. We will cherish these memories and endeavor to
live up to the great honor you have bestowed on me today.