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Alternative Nobel winner Ruth Manorama speaks

Source: PTI
September 30, 2006 20:37 IST
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Ruth Manorama, activist for Dalit women's causes and social justice and winner of the 2006 Right Livelihood Award, known as the 'Alternative Nobel Prize, on Saturday said she would take up more vehemently the issue of reservation for women in Parliament and Assemblies.

"The award means a recognition of the issues I have been working on. It means a lot to the people I am working with - the marginalised and unorganised sector," Manorama, who is associated with a wide canvas of issues concerning Dalits, slum dwellers, urban poor, domestic workers and unorganized labour, told PTI.

The award, Manorama said, had given a big push to these issues and, "I am happy that they have been recognised."

A Dalit Christian, Manorama shares the 2006 Right Livelihood Award with Daniel Ellsberg (US) and Chico Whitaker (Brazil). The award is worth 2 million Swedish Krona (USD 275,000) and the presentation ceremony would be held in the Swedish Parliament on December 8.

She said she had already been working and lobbying at the national level to make reservation for women a reality but would do so more vehemently, adding that she would also continue to fight for the housing rights of slum dwellers and for social justice.

Manorama is the president of the National Alliance of Women, co-convenor of the National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights, Joint Secretary of Dalit Liberation Movement, Secretary of Karnataka State Slum Dwellers Federation and President of National Federation of Dalit Women, among others.

According to the jury, Manorama was being honoured for her "commitment over decades to achieving equality for Dalit women, building effective and committed women's organisations and working for their rights at national and international levels."

Founded in 1980, the Right Livelihood Awards are presented annually in the Swedish Parliament, to "honour and support those offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us today."

Narmada Bachao Andolan's Medha Patkar and Chipko Movement's Baba Amte are among the Indian recipients of the award.

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