Two Indian NGOs have won the prestigious 2005 Atlas Templeton Freedom Prizes for promoting free market solutions to poverty and social entrepreneurship.
India's Centre for Civil Society won first place in the Free Market Solutions to Poverty award for their Law, Liberty and Livelihood Campaign, which is inspired by Hernando de Soto's book, The Other Path.
Their L3 campaign focused on reducing and simplifying the permitting process for small shop owners, street vendors and cycle rickshaw pullers to give them a fighting chance at prosperity.
The think-tank also won the 2004 Templeton Freedom Prize for Student Outreach, the Foundation's release said.
The Templeton Freedom Prize for Social Entrepreneurship was awarded to International Development Enterprises India (IDEI) for their successful programme to increase the income-generating potential of poor, rural Indian families by providing them with low-cost and effective irrigation systems.
IDEI develops irrigation technology and then in partnership with private sector manufacturers and retailers sells the equipment to small-holder farmers.
The Templeton Freedom Prizes for Excellence in Promoting Liberty at the Atlas Economic Research Foundation recognise the work and dedication of non-profit organisations to the free society.
The winning institutes receive a cash prize of $10,000, while the runners-up receive $5,000.