A young Indian has won a prestigious global citizen award and $100,000 cash prize for his work to build community sanitation facilities, an area that aligns with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's commitment to ending open defecation, organisers of the award said.
Anoop Jain was named recipient of the 2014 Waislitz Global Citizen Award for his ‘exemplified values of a Global Citizen’ through his work in founding Humanure Power in Bihar in 2011 that builds community sanitation facilities in rural India.
The award carries a $100,000 cash prize in recognition to the winner's work in making the ‘world a better place.’
The announcement of the award co-incided with Modi's recent visit in New York when he addressed thousands of people at the Global Citizen Festival last week in Central Park.
The organisation said Jain's work through Humanure Power aligns with Modi's commitment to put a toilet in every household and school in India by 2019 -- a commitment he iterated in his remarks on stage at the citizen festival.
Humanure Power has already seen over 17,000 users, while hygienically disposing of eight tonnes of human excreta.
Such effort would help prevent disease and improve productivity as toilets prevent water-borne diseases caused by fecal contamination, which affects broader health, social, and economic change desperately needed in India.
"Ending extreme poverty is not a choice it's an obligation.
“Although there can only be one winner of this award each year, my hope is that it will inspire many thousands of people like Anoop Jain around the world to do what they can to improve the living standards of those in dire need," Chairman and Founder of the Melbourne-based Waislitz Foundation Alex Waislitz said.
Jain's company would use the $100,000 to advance its mission of improving access to toilets for thousands of people living in rural India by building more community sanitation facilities.
In addition, the money would go towards formalising their monitoring and evaluation methods.
Jain was among the four finalists for the award, which is based on individual merit in four key areas of global citizenship, impact, innovation, and potential.
He was chosen the winner after getting the maximum votes by people from across the world.
Among the other finalists was another young Indian Swapnil Chaturvedi who founded 'Samagra Sanitation' which is focussed on providing ‘awesome sanitation services to the urban poor’ in India.
Image: Anoop Jain; Photograph, courtesy: humanurepower