This category acknowledges special achievements from outstanding Fairtrade supporters worldwide, who work tirelessly towards attaining the Fairtrade vision. In this category, the judges had shortlisted 10 candidates and the final winner was chosen by the public through an online voting. The winner is:
Bijumon Kurian, President of Manarcadu Social Services Society, India
He hails from Kottayam and has been part of the agrarian community since his childhood. At present Bijumon Kurian heads a firm that strives to supporting small farmers and help them live a better life.
Bijumon has now been honoured with Fairtrade Fan Award, the first Indian recipient. The Fairtrade Fan award is instituted by the Fairtrade International, a Germany-based organisation. The organisation offers an alternative approach to conventional trade and is based on a partnership between producers and consumers. This gives them the opportunity to improve their lives and plan for their future.
“I hail from a farmer’s family. Upon completing my higher education, I decided to do something for the benefit of the farming community. There is a lot that has to be done in this area. Only when we help the farmers, can we be assured of any form of development in the country,” commented Bijumon.
For over two decades, he has worked towards ensuring a better life for financially backward sections of farming community in Kerala. Moreover, he also focuses on areas such as organic and fair trade as well as empowering women in the sector.
He also added that his organisation would like to establish a an institute for the education of farmers. “Universities offer a wide variety of courses regarding agriculture. However, you need a structured programme that could teach you modern techniques and point you in the right direction. We hope to establish our institute soon,” explained Bijumon.
Most of the Bijumon’s initiatives have been implemented without much support from governmental bodies. “It is good to know that the Centre has finally allocated a significant sum of money towards the agrarian sector for its development. They seem to be moving towards a more favourable cause. This initiative would definitely help the farming community,” he explains.
Bijumon Kurian will be receiving the award on March 3, 2016 at a ceremony held in Berlin, Germany.
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