A social activist from Tamil Nadu, southern India, has received this year’s Raoul Wallenberg Prize, a prestigious award given by the European Council.
The ceremony took place in France and Arokiasamy Vincent Raj, popularly known as Evidence Kathir, received the award online on January 19. The award, given every two years, carries a cash prize of 10,000 Euros equivalent of 842,770 rupees, besides a citation.
“I am happy for Evidence Kathir. I wish him good luck for what he is doing for the Dalits and the Tribals,” said Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. K Stalin in his congratulatory message.
Kathir runs a 25-year-old non-profit organization in Madurai that works mainly for Dalits and the Tribals in Tamil Nadu.
He and his team reach out when atrocities against Dalits and Tribals take place. He trains human rights defenders especially the youth in Tamil Nadu.
The award is seen as “a great honor” for all Dalit activists and the human defenders in Tamil Nadu.
Kathir says he has been committed to the human rights issue for the past 25 years. “It is a challenging job and I feel its great recognition for my work,” he adds.