Well-known Indian journalist Palagummi Sainath on Friday received the 2007 Ramon Magsaysay Award, Asia's equivalent of the Nobel Prize, for his rural journalism.
Sainath received the award at a ceremony held in Manila, in recognition of his ''passionate commitment as a journalist to restore the rural poor to India's consciousness.''
Sainath was given the award of a certificate, medallion and cash prize of $50,000 by Philippines Chief Justice Artemo Panganiban.
This year, seven Asians were conferred the award for their contributions to their respective societies and the region.
Born in Chennai in 1957, Sainath completed a master's degree in history before turning to journalism. Starting out with the United News of India news agency in New Delhi, he moved on to Blitz, a Mumbai tabloid, where he rose to be deputy chief editor and became a popular columnist. In 1993, he changed course.
Under a fellowship from the Times of India, Sainath painstakingly investigated life in India's ten poorest districts.
The series was later compiled into an award-winning book, Everybody Loves a Good Drought. The proceeds from the book have been used to fund awards for rural journalists.
Others who received this year's award include Jovito R Salonga from Philippines, Rev Kim Sun-tae from Korea, Mahabir Pun from Nepal and Tang Xiyang, Chung To and Chen Guangcheng from China.
Established in 1957, the Ramon Magsaysay Award is named after the third Philippine president who died in a plane crash, and is given to individuals or organisations in Asia who show the same sense of selfless service the late Philippine leader.