Kudos to Bezwada Wilson, a renowned campaigner against manual scavenging, and T.M. Krishna a Carnatic singer from Chennai for the prestigious Magsaysay Award nomination. While keeping his standards of music as the highest, Krishna is sure to have achieved the commendable social connect with his active vision of impressive classicism. T. M. Krishna deserves the credit of liberating classical music which has for long been considered the privilege of the elite. He enlarged its boundaries and made it accessible to the common man, irrespective of caste, creed or religion. It is highly commendable for all the great efforts he has been taking to propagate our culture and Music.
Bezwada Wilson had worked tirelessly to highlight and end scourge of manual scavenging. Born into a Dalit family in Karnataka, Wilson’s work in getting the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers Act 2013 enacted was phenomenal. Wilson “has spent 32 years on his crusade, leading not only with a sense of moral outrage but also with remarkable skills in mass organizing, and working within India’s complex legal system. May the award inspire him to continue the noble efforts. His strong views earned him a lot of admirers and adversaries as well but he has never flinched from his ideals. Due to Wilson’s efforts, Safai Karmachari Andolan (SKA) has now grown into a network of 7,000 members in 500 districts across the country. Of the estimated 600,000 scavengers in India, SKA has liberated around 300,000. Bezwada Wilson too richly deserves the Magsaysay which unlike Indian awards has only merit as the criterion. It is high time we Indians should start recognizing the achievers in areas other than movies, politics, media etc.
Vinod C. Dixit
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)