Amartya Sen honoured by international rights body

October 18th, 2008 - 9:53 pm ICT by IANS  

New York, Oct 18 (IANS) Nobel laureate and eminent economist Amartya Sen has been honoured with the Inspiration Prize by Breakthrough, an international human rights organisation working in India and the US. Shashi Tharoor, noted author and former UN undersecretary general, and Mallika Dutt, Breakthrough’s founder and executive director, presented him the award Friday.

The award ceremony took place at Breakthrough’s fourth fundraising dinner, attended by nearly 200 people, including many prominent Indian Americans, at a hotel in midtown Manhattan.

The citation said that Sen, Lamont University Professor of Economics at Harvard University in Boston, has “written extensively on social and economic development, with focus on inequality, status of women and need for education”.

Also receiving the Inspiration Award was John Thornton, former president of the investment bank Goldman Sachs. A leading expert on US-China relations, he is the director of the Global Leadership Programme at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

Breakthrough uses media and popular culture tools to raise awareness about human rights issues, including women’s rights, HIV/AIDS, immigrant rights and racial justice. Its most recent campaign in India calls on men and boys to take a stand against domestic violence.

In the US, Breakthrough is part of a national campaign to restore due process and fairness to immigration policy. Its recent initiatives include a cutting-edge video game ICED (I Can End Deportation) and a 3D simulation of detention conditions.

New York based Mallika Dutt was earlier the programme officer for the Human Rights and Social Justice Program at the Ford Foundation’s New Delhi office.

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