Journalist P Sainath awarded Japan’s Fukuoka Grand Prize for 2021

The award ‘aims to foster and increase awareness of the value of Asian cultures, and to establish a foundation from which people of the Asia can learn and share with one another’

Journalist P Sainath
Journalist P Sainath
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NH International Bureau

Renowned journalist and founder of PARI (People’s Archive of Rural India) P Sainath has been awarded the Fukuoka Grand Prize for 2021.

Sainath, who worked with The Hindu previously and wrote a seminal book titled “Everybody loves a good drought”, is known for his in-depth reporting of issues affecting rural India.

“Despite his brilliant career, Mr. Sainath’s dogged approach to the pursuit of ‘knowledge’ has stayed unchanged. He collects information by scrupulously walking around the villages and talking to people, captures the reality in photographs and reveals the real situations of poverty and natural disasters,” reads the citation of the prize.

“Since last year he has been busy reporting on the rural areas which are suffering doubly from the pandemic of COVID-19 and poverty and encouraging people to help each other. For his pursuit of ‘knowledge’' and civic cooperation, amid the turbulence of an Asia which is undergoing drastic change, Mr. Palagummi Sainath is very deserving of the Grand Prize of the Fukuoka Prize,” it adds.

The award is given in three categories: Academic Prize, Culture Prize and the Grand Prize. The Grand Prize is considered the biggest among them. The last Indian to be awarded the prize was A. R. Rahman (2016).

Historian Romila Thapar and Sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan were awarded the prize in Academic and Cultural category. The Fukuoka Grand Prize carries a bigger cash award than the Magsaysay Prize.


Established by the city of Fukuoka and the Fukuoka City International Foundation “to honor the outstanding work of individuals or organizations in preserving or creating Asian culture”, the award “aims to foster and increase awareness of the value of Asian cultures, and to establish a foundation from which people of the Asia can learn and share with one another”.

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