Indian-American wins American Courage Award

  • Betwa Sharma, PTI, New York
  • |
  • Updated: Sep 29, 2009 10:46 IST

Indian-American Human rights activist Mallika Dutt has won the American Courage Award for her human rights work in India and the United States.

The 47-year-old activist, who grew up in Calcutta, will receive the award on Oct 1 from the Asian American Justice Center, a leading civil rights organisation in the country.

"Its a huge honour getting an award from AAJC since they're at the forefront of ensuring that the presence of the Asian-American community is not marginalised," Mallika, who left for US at an age of 18, told PTI.

After finishing High School from Welham Girls School in Dehra Dun, she studied international relations at Columbia University, and law at New York University.

In 1989, she co-founded 'Sakhi', an organisation that helps South Asian women suffering from domestic violence in New York City.

The law graduate went on to fight immigration cases, and then expanded her field of intervention to women rights, criminal justice, environmental degradation and Native American rights. "I had to get a sense of human rights across the US," she said.

The best part of the award, Dutt said, is that it highlights the need for effective immigration reform in a post 9/11 America.

 

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