“This award goes to all the women who burnt their baskets to reject manual scavenging. And I dedicate this award to all those who lost their lives while cleaning the sewer lines. In this moment I remember my team members of Safai Karamchari Andolan spread across all states of India. They worked hard, indeed poured out sweat and blood, awakened an almost resigned community, produced evidence to fight our legal battles, lobbied with legislators, pressured an apathetic administration, demolished dry latrines—symbols of national shame—and, in 2010 and 2015, undertook a tedious bus journey traversing the country.”

2016 Ramon Magsaysay Awardee BEZWADA WILSON accepts Asia’s Premier Prize and Highest Honor, the Ramon Magsaysay Award.