Kerala Health Minister rejected the Ramon Magsaysay Award as it was against the communists

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Former Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja has rejected the Ramon Magsaysay award for her commitment and service towards ensuring an accessible public health system and effectively leading from the front to manage the Nipah and Covid-19 outbreaks in the state. However after she declined it the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation decided not to announce her name in the final list. 

  • Her handling of the health crisis was praised nationally and internationally.
  • KK Shailaja who is a central committee member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) said that the party decided not to accept the award.
  • She said that cannot accept the award as it was given to an individual while her work as a health minister was a collective work.
  • Also the award which is given in the name of the former Philippines President, was anti-communist and ruthlessly crushed the communist guerrilla movement in the country.
  • If she had accepted the award she would be the fifth Keralite to get the honour after Verghese Kurien, M S Swaminathan, B G Verghese and T N Seshan. 
  • Till date 55 Indians have won the award. First being Vinoba Bhave in 1958 and the last being Ravish Kumar 2019.

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