A grassroot level activist from Tamilnadu, India, Kulandei Francis (age 65), whose Integrated Village Development Project (IVDP) in Krishnagiri has eased the life of hundreds has been proclaimed the Magsaysay award winner along with other five activists from Philippines, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Taiwan and Indonesia. Francis has helped many rual women set up micro-enterprises that earns them their bread and butter, thus rooting out the evils of poverty.
Francis belonged to a modest background and obtained his graduate degree from Annamalai University, established the IVDP in 1979, and has kept on expanding it ever since throughout the state. It definitely got the rural poverty-stricken women a reliable source of income, plus they could also secure loans. His wife and daughters also assist him in running this organization.Presently, there are 8000+ self help groups aided by IVDP, spanning three districts of Krishnagiri, Dharmpuri and Vellore.
The other awardees include Romulo Davide (Philippines), Chen Shu-Chu (Taiwan), Syeda Rizwana Hasan (Bangladesh), Yang Saing Koma (Cambodia) and Ambrosius Ruwindrijarto (Indonesia).