Rural energy service pioneer Dr. Harish Hande has bagged this year's Ramon Magsaysay award' for "his passionate and pragmatic efforts to put solar power technology in the hands of the poor, through his social enterprise SELCOIndia that brings customized, affordable, and sustainable electricity to India's vast rural populace encouraging the poor to become asset creators."
The Ramon Magsaysay Award, often considered Asia’s Nobel Prize, is given annually to individuals or organizations in Asia who demonstrate selfless service. “The Magsaysay awardees of 2011,” says RMAF President Carmencita T. Abella, “are five remarkable individuals and an exceptional organization, all deeply involved in harnessing technologies—both hard and “soft”-- that can genuinely empower their countrymen and create waves of progressive change in Asia. Working on critical issues that impact not only their respective countries, but indeed, all of Asia, they are showing how commitment, competence, and collaborative leadership can truly transform individual lives and galvanize community action.”
True to his nature, Harish attributes the award to the collective work of his team at SELCO. He says“It is a humble moment for all of us at SELCO. The Magsaysay Award in a way justifies the path of social sustainability that SELCO has always strived and fought for - in order to connect poverty alleviation and sustainable energy. The award will motivate all employees in SELCO to push forward its mission and hope to inspire many more to start various social enterprises that can help reduce the poverty in the world.”