Aruna Roy shares the Magsaysay Award

This year's Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership and International Understanding has been bestowed on J Arputham, President, National Slumdwellers' Federation and Aruna Roy.

Aruna Roy was born in Chennai and is former a IAS officer. She is a long time activist of the PUCL in Rajasthan. She joined Social Work and Research Centre in 1974 set up by her classmate, Bunkar Roy, whom she had married in 1970, after resigning from the IAS. She worked at the SWRC Tilonia till 1983. She moved to Devdoondri in 1990 and set up the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathana working amongst the people. The MKSS is a working example of total transparency. She is one of the leading lights of the movement for Right to Information. The Rajasthan Right to Information Bill is the culmination of this movement.

She had conveyed to the Award Committee that the Award should be given to MKSS. When told that it was given to individuals, her colleagues decided that she should accept the Award.

It has been decided that the Award money will be put into a trust to support the process of democratic struggles. --General Secretary

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(PUCL Bulletin, Sept., 2000)