Indian activist Deep Joshi chosen for Ramon Magsaysay Award

Indian Art Summit to showcase art works worth Rs. 400 m

Art work worth Rs. 400 million or Rs. 40 crore is expected to be showcased in the second edition of the India Art Summit which will be held in the capital Aug 19-22.

"We are expecting to have a varied range of art works in the exhibition with a total value of at least Rs.40 crore. Last year this figure was Rs.20 crore and more than 50 percent of the total products were sold during the event," Neha Kirpal, associate director of the art summit, said here Monday.

"This year we're expecting the total price of all art works to be doubled considering the price increase of paintings and other works of art in the international markets," she said.
Kirpal said last year the exhibition had received a huge response from different quarters and it attracted over 10,000 art enthusiasts during the four-day show.

"This year we're expecting many more footfalls than what we had last time. We've also expanded the exhibition space by three folds, from 1,500 sq. m. to 4,500 sq. m. this time. Altogether 54 galleries, out of which 18 are international, are participating in the event," she said.

The coming edition of India Art Summit, the largest showcase of contemporary Indian art, is supported by Sotheby's. It aims to provide an open international platform for artists and also raise awareness about art in the country.

Kirpal said from the three international galleries in 2008 there are now 18 galleries from 11 different countries, including some of the most prominent international galleries from Europe, the US and Asia.

"Some of them are coming to the Indian Art Summit this year with a thought to set up galleries here. They are interested to explore India as an alternative art market," she said.

Joshi is being recognised for "his vision and leadership in bringing professionalism to the NGO movement in India, by effectively combining 'head' and 'heart' in the transformative development of rural communities," the Board of Trustees of the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation said in a press statement from its headquarters in Manila.

"I am delighted to get this honour. But the award is not for an individual, it is for an idea, for the development of rural population. We need the educated people to go to rural areas and work for their welfare," 62-year-old Joshi said.

A masters in engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a Masters in Management from the Sloan School, MIT, Joshi worked with the Systems Research Institute, the Ford Foundation and has nearly 30 years of experience in the field of rural development and livelihood promotion. He also advises the government on poverty alleviation strategies.

Joshi was the co-founder of Professional Assistance for Development Action (PRADAN) and now works as an independent consultant for the NGO which works for rural poor, promoting self-help groups, developing locally suitable economic activities, mobilising finances and introducing systems to improve livelihoods of rural people.

Thai researcher Krisana Kraisintu, who was working to develop generic drugs for fighting HIV/AIDS and Ka Hsaw Wa, an activist from military-ruled Myanmar who has documented human rights and environmental abuses, were among others to be selected for the honour, named after a popular Philippines President who died in a plane crash in 1957.

Other winners were Ma Jun, a former journalist who launched the first public database on water pollution in China, Yu Xiaogang, founder of the a nonprofit group which helped communities flooded by a dam project in Yunnan province and Filipino lawyer-environmentalist Antonio Oposa Jr.

"The Magsaysay awardees of 2009," said Foundation President Carmencita T Abella, "are true Asian Heroes, putting their advanced knowledge and skills at the service of critical needs of their people."

The six awardees join 271 other laureates who have received the honour to date. They will be conferred the award at a function in Manila on August 31.

Vinoba Bhave, Kiran Bedi, P Sainath, Aruna Roy, Prakash and Mandakini Amte and Rajendra Singh were among the Indians who have received the honour in the past.

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