MS Swaminathan (India, Community Leadership, 1971) was conferred the Dr. Pinnamaneni and Smt. Seethadevi Foundation Award on December 23, 2011, in recognition of his contributions in the field of agriculture. The award foundation was established in December 1989 with the aim of honoring eminent persons in the fields of literature, culture, fine arts, medicine, science, sports and social service.
Rajendra Singh (India, Community Leadership, 2001) received the 2012 Basavasri Award for his pioneering work in community-based water harvesting and water management. The award was given on January 15 at the second Basava Sanskranti program at Kudalasangama.
Antonio Meloto, Chair of Gawad Kalinga (Philippines, Community Leadership, 2006) received the 2011 Nikkei Asia Prize in the regional growth category "his commitment to improving the living conditions of the poor." Meloto was noted for his work in slum areas in the Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia and Papua New Guinea, where Gawad Kalinga has built 200,000 homes in 2,000 communities.
Miriam Defensor-Santiago (Philippines, Government Service, 1988) has earned the distinction of being the first Asian from a developing country to win a seat in the International Criminal Court. Last December, she was elected to a nine-year term as one of the six judges of the ICC. She won the post by an impressive 79 votes in the 10th Session of the Assembly of State Parties in New York.
Nileema Mishra (India, Emergent Leadership, 2011) recently inaugurated the exhibition of Lok Biradari Prakalp in Nashik, India. In partnership with the Rotary Club of Nashik, she is also helping organize self-help groups for women in the slums of the city and eventually the rural areas. Next, Nileema intends to work for the return of land belonging to farmers in Nandurbar.
The streets of Mactan, Chinatown, and Baguio in the Philippines were car-less for a day on June 12, 2011; January 22 and January 27, 2012 respectively in response to a call by environment advocate Antonio Oposa Jr. (Philippines, 2009). Oposa initiated the Road Revolution Movement (RoadRev), which encourages the "pedestrianization" of the city streets by closing certain sections to motor vehicles to give the environment a breather. .
Krisana Kraisintu (Thailand, 2009) is piloting a Thai traditional medicine project for Muslim communities in the area of Narthiwat. Her project aims to establish an organic herbal medicine plant, using naturally abundant ingredients which are listed as herbal medicines and as national drugs. For starters, she has put up a small-scale herbal drug production plant at the Baan Kokkien area in Narathiwat, Muang.
Cambodia's election watchdog, the Committee for Free and Fair Elections (COMFREL), a brainchild of Koul Panha (Cambodia, 2011), is complementing their preparations for the 2012 district (commune) elections with social media. COMFREL's Media Unit, which manages its radio program and a website, will allow real-time information to be passed on from their local counterparts and the public on matters concerning the conduct of elections, for immediate posting on the COMFREL website.
Fazle Hasan Abed (Bangladesh, Community Leadership, 1980), founder and chair of the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC), will soon be setting up a BRAC office in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindaonao (ARMM), Philippines. The project is supported by AUSAid. The BRAC primary school education system is recognized globally for making available primary education to underprivileged children who are outside the formal educational system. The system was introduced in Bangladesh in 1972.
Matiur Rahman (Bangladesh, Journalism and Literature, 2005) continues to ensure that Prothom Alo, one of the major broadsheet dailies in Bangladesh, remains relevant and updated on technological advances in media with the use of mobile phones and tablet computers. The paper now has 350,000 followers online. It also has an audio version, accessible through their website, catering to the visually challenged. This project is in collaboration with the Center for Disability in Development (CDD) and BRAC.
With a high circulation of 6 million, the paper has been effective in curbing incidents of acid throwing by advocating stricter laws and punishment for offenders. The paper has extended assistance to survivors through livelihood support for 132 women and scholarships for 18 children. In 2011, it has also sponsored a two-day fellowship program for 8,000 Bangladeshi students.
Marine biologist Angel Alcala (Philippines, Public Service, 1992) recently alerted local officials in Central Philippines on possible earthquakes and flash floods, given the existence of four geologic faults intersecting at the southern edge of Lake Danao in Leyte province. He called for contingency plans in the event of scenarios similar to that in the area around Mt. Parker and Lake Maughan in South Cotabato province.
The Dynamic Learning Program (DLP) of Dr. Christopher Bernido and Dr. Maria Victoria Carpio-Bernido (Philippines, 2010) is proving to be"disaster-proof." In typhoon-ravaged areas, where lack of teachers and learning materials remains a problem, attendance has increased since the reopening of classes in the wake of the devastating typhoon "Sendong." Students are seen to be more focused, thanks to the program.
The Center for Disability in Development (CDD) is now expanding its operations in Myanmar, with the view to helping the government in its community-based rehabilitation programs for the disabled. Says CDD Executive Director AHM Noman Khan (Bangladesh, 2010), the expansion is to be jointly managed with Action Aid Bangladesh and Action Aid Myanmar, which run a leprosy mission program. Khan adds that CDD is also assisting the Pakistan government in strengthening their Community-Based Rehabilitation (CBR) programs.
Khan represents CDD in the UNESCAP program of drafting the UN Decade of Disability 2012-2022.