2023 Ramon Magsaysay Award

  • Dr. R. Ravi Kannan, a surgical oncologist and the Director of the Cachar Cancer Hospital and Research Centre (CCHRC) in Assam, has been selected one of the 2023 Ramon Magsaysay Awardees.
  • His trailblazing initiatives have transformed cancer treatment in Assam by emphasising people-centered and pro-poor healthcare solutions.

Dr. Kannan’s Insightful Work

  • Under Dr. Kannan’s leadership, CCHRC expanded from a single department to 28 departments, including oncology, pathology, radiology, microbiology, epidemiology, and palliative care.
  • To address patients’ issues in continuing treatment owing to poverty and distance, the hospital implemented pro-poor programmes such as free treatment, accommodation, food, ad hoc employment for carers, and a homecare programme.
  • The hospital team went above and beyond by training family members in pain management and palliative care and delivering free drugs.
  • As a result, cancer treatment compliance increased dramatically, from 28% to 70%.

Regarding the Ramon Magsaysay Award

  • The Ramon Magsaysay Award, created in 1958, is a notable honour that is sometimes referred to as Asia’s Nobel Prize.
  • This distinguished award recognises Asian individuals and organisations for their outstanding contributions to society in a variety of fields.

Who was Ramon Magsaysay?

  • Ramon Magsaysay was the Philippines’ president from 1953 until his tragic death in a plane crash in 1957.
  • During World War II, when Japanese forces seized the Philippines, which was then a US province, he rose to fame.
  • He was elected president of the Nationalist organisation, the country’s oldest political organisation, in December 1953.
  • In 1946, the Philippines was plagued by post-war instability, accompanied by an increasing divide between rich and poor, aggravated by the rise of capitalism.
  • Leaders were targeted by the administration, which was linked with the US, amid accusations of communist sympathies and calls for peasant rights.
  • Magsaysay’s administrative and military policies were critical in addressing the anticipated communist threat.

Indian Honorees: Excellence Leaves a Legacy

The Ramon Magsaysay Award has recognised notable Indians:

  • Vinoba Bhave (1958)
  • Mother Teresa (1962)
  • Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay (1966)
  • Satyajit Ray (1967)
  • Mahasweta Devi (1997)
  • Arvind Kejriwal (2006)
  • Anshu Gupta of Goonj (2015)
  • Bezwada Wilson, human rights activist (2016)
  • Ravish Kumar, journalist (2019)

The Importance of the Award

  • The Ramon Magsaysay Award honours remarkable efforts that have a positive impact on society and represents a genuine dedication to selflessness and service.
  • It serves as a reminder that by unselfish efforts, individuals and organisations may create dramatic change.
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