The award was announced by a jury comprising of Justice Ranjan Gogoi, the Chief Justice of India; Sumitra Mahajan, Speaker of Lok Sabha; Mallikarjuna Kharge, Leader of the single largest Opposition Party in Lok Sabha and L.K. Advani, Member of Parliament, under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Prime Minister Modi applauded the dedicated work of Akshaya Patra by saying, “the Akshaya Patra Foundation’s determined efforts ensure nutritious meals for many. Their outstanding work has also ensured more children go to school. I congratulate them for the Gandhi Peace Prize, 2016.”
“Thank you Prime Minister Modiji for the Gandhi Peace Prize. Your constant patronage for Akshaya Patra’s mission from beginning days as Chief Minister of Gujarat and as Prime Minister has been a big strength,” said Madhu Pandit Dasa, the Chairman of the Akshaya Patra Foundation.
According to a press release, the International Gandhi Peace Prize was instituted in 1995 during the commemoration of the 125th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
While the award is an annual prize, there has been no winner since 2014, thus this year the award encompassed 2015 to 2018.
The award consists of Rs. one crore, along with a citation and plaque.
Others who have received it in the past include Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Vaclav Havel, Ramakrishna Mission and others.