The prestigious Gandhi-King Award for Non-Violence was presented to Mata Amritanandamayi Devi at the United Nations General Assembly Hall (Palais des Nations) in Geneva, Switzerland, last week.
The award is named after Mahatma Gandhi and Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. Previous winners include Nobel laureates Kofi Annan (United Nations secretary general) in 1999 and Nelson Mandela in 2000.
Jane Goodall, the world-famous British primatologist who won the Gandhi-King Award in 2001, presented the crystal art piece designed and contributed by jewellery retailer Fortunoff to Amma, as her disciples know Amritanandamayi, on October 7.
The award recognises Amma's work to spread the message of love and peace throughout the world and help the poor and the needy through a vast network of charitable institutions.
In her acceptance speech, Amma praised the work of both Gandhiji and Dr King: "This award is in the name of two great beings who fearlessly devoted their lives towards the cause of peace, harmony, and equality. Amma accepts this award on behalf of all those who pray and work for peace the world over. May this be an inspiration for people everywhere to redouble their efforts in bringing peace to our planet."
She said Gandhiji and Dr King were able to fulfil their missions in life not only because of the support they received from people but also because they were pure at heart.
'I believe in love. Not fundamentalism'
Back to top
Tell us what you think of this report