The Niwano Peace Foundation will award the 40th Niwano Peace Prize to Rajagopal P.V. of India in recognition of his extraordinary work for the poorest and most marginalized of his country, and his struggle for the equal human dignity and equal rights of every man and woman, irrespective of caste or gender.
An award presentation ceremony will take place in Tokyo on May 11. In addition to an award certificate, Rajagopal, 74, will receive a medal and a cash prize of 20 million yen.
His particular accomplishments include negotiating the surrender and rehabilitation of gangs, and his commitment to care for the environment due to the poor’s primary needs for water, land, and forests. Rajagopal’s work for justice and peace is also carried forward through dialogue with institutions, realizing the redistribution of land and the assignment of land ownership. He uses only his first name in public to avoid being associated with the caste system, which is a clear sign of his vision of human equality.
The Niwano Peace Prize Committee said his selection as a recipient for 2023 is “highly significant” as it comes in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic “that highlighted a downside of our interconnected world and forced us to rethink globalization.”
Niwano Peace Prize:
The Niwano Peace Foundation established the Niwano Peace Prize to honor and encourage individuals and organizations that have contributed significantly to inter-religious cooperation, thereby furthering the cause of world peace, and to make their achievements known as widely as possible. The Foundation hopes in this way to enhance inter-religious understanding and cooperation and to encourage the emergence of still more persons devoted to working for world
peace. The prize is named in honor of the founder and first president of the lay Buddhist organization Rissho Kosei-kai, Nikkyo Niwano.
Niwano Peace Foundation:
The Niwano Peace Foundation was chartered in 1978 to contribute to the realization of world peace and the enhancement of a culture of peace. The Foundation promotes research and other activities based on the spirit of religious principles and serves the cause of peace in such fields as education, science, religion and philosophy.
Source: Niwano Peace Foundation
(Mr.) Seiji Hironaka/ (Ms.) Natsuki Kudo/ (Ms.) Aina Hirano
Niwano Peace Foundation