AsianScientist (Jun. 27, 2018) – A Chinese environmentalist using the power of the internet to promote cleaner industry, a Vietnamese doctor bringing cutting-edge medicine to children and an Indian social reformer tackling two of his country’s biggest challenges—poor hygiene and discrimination—have been awarded this year’s Nikkei Asia Prizes.
The Prize aims to recognize the outstanding efforts of individuals that have contributed to Asia’s sustainable development and helped to create a better future for people in the region. It was first established in 1996 by Nikkei Inc. on the 120th anniversary of the company’s founding. The three categories of the award are: economic and business innovation; science and technology; and culture and community.
This year, the economic and business innovation award was conferred on Mr. Ma Jun, founding director of the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs in China. He leads the non-governmental organization that produces an online pollution database, presenting the information in an easy-to-search format organized by region. The institute also publishes indexes of corporate work to benefit the environment, spurring provincial governments and industry to strengthen their protection efforts.
Meanwhile, the science and technology prize went to Dr. Nguyen Thanh Liem, director of Vinmec Research Institute of Stem Cell and Gene Technology in Vietnam. One of Vietnam’s leading pediatric physicians, Nguyen performed the country’s first minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery on a child in 1997. He went on to introduce robo-assisted surgery and other advanced technology that has brought life-changing treatments to children.
Last but not least, Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak, the founder of Sulabh International, a non-governmental organization that has built flush composting toilets throughout India, received the culture and community award. His efforts have contributed to better sanitation, safety for rural women and freedom from the manual labor of removing human waste, which has long been a source of stigma in Indian society.
Source: Nikkei; Photo: Maho Obata/Nikkei.
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