akshaya patra

Tokyo: The Nikkei Asia Prizes recognize individuals and organizations that make outstanding contributions to Asia's development. This year, the prizes have been awarded to two individuals and a foundation for supporting education by nourishing children, researching innovative materials and promoting democracy.

The winners of the 21st Nikkei Asia Prizes are:

Madhu Pandit Dasa, chairman of Akshaya Patra, visits a school in Bangalore at lunchtime.

Akshaya Patra Foundation — Winner for economic and business innovation

Representative: Madhu Pandit Dasa, chairman

The foundation provides free daily lunches to 1.5 million schoolchildren in India and aims to increase the figure to 5 million. For many kids, this is their only meal of the day. Akshaya Patra also motivated the government to make school lunches compulsory, helping to ensure kids can focus on their studies rather than their empty stomachs.

Jiang Lei

Jiang Lei applies phenomena found in insects, animals and plants to the development of new materials. (Photo by Tamako Sado)

Lei, professor, Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences — Winner for science and technology 

Jiang's research has paved the way for materials that mimic features of living organisms. The professor's findings have drawn worldwide attention and are opening doors to industrial innovation.

Dogmid Sosorbaram, performing artist, democracy activist — Winner for culture and community

Dogmid Sosorbaram poses in front of a statue of Genghis Khan in a suburb of Ulaanbaatar. (Photo by Akiyoshi Inoue)

Sosorbaram, a Mongolian actor and singer, helped usher his country toward democracy through art. Now that a democratic system has taken root, he continues to stress the importance of freedom and strives to pass on artistic traditions to the next generation.

About the Nikkei Asia Prizes

The prizes were created in 1996 to commemorate the 120th anniversary of Nikkei Inc.'s main Japanese-language newspaper, The Nikkei. They honor contributions to the region in three fields: economic and business innovation; science and technology; and culture and community.

Experts from across the Asia-Pacific region submit nominations. Candidates cannot nominate themselves, and Japanese individuals and organizations are not eligible.

Category-specific screening committees choose two candidates each. Then, the winners are selected by a final judging panel, made up of leading members of the preliminary committees.

Source: asia.nikkei.com       Dated: May 8, 2016