April 11, 2002



   The President Dr. K.R. Narayanan will give away the prestigious Dr. Ambedkar International Awards for Social Change to Shri Remy Fernand Claude Satorre Bonhomme of Spain at a function at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Sunday. Shri Remy has been given the award in recognition of his outstanding services in espousing the cause of the exploited and underprivileged and pursuing the high ideals of human dignity. He was selected for the award by a jury of eminent persons headed by the Vice President of India Shri Krishan Kant. Shri Remy is the second recipient of the award. The first award for the year 1999 was given to Shri Murlidhar Devidas Amte. The award carries an amount of 1.5 million rupees convertible into any other international currency as preferred by the recipient, along with a citation.

    Born on 17th March, 1935 at Beziers in France, Shri Remy had shown concern for the poor and the needy right from his childhood days. Work done by Mahatma Gandhi had a significant impact on him. In pursuit of his concern for the underprivileged, Shri Remy started "Jeunes Amis des Lepreux" (JAL) – Young Friends of the Leprosy Affected, as a non-profit welfare organization with the mission for treatment and rehabilitation of persons affected by leprosy. As a result of the sincerity and commitment of Shri Remy, the activities of the Organisation spread to many countries, particularly those affected by domestic violence, social abuse and social prejudices. The Organisation has set up training centers for the leprosy affected persons for rehabilitating them in suitable economic activities and integrating them into the national mainstream. It has taken up education programmes for their benefit as well.

    Activities of the organisation extended to India in 1994, by taking up provision of boarding facilities to aged persons handicapped by leprosy. It also took up treatment of leprosy patients with help of CERTH (India). The organization supported "Satyalayam", a special school for the children of persons suffering from leprosy, organisation of eye camp at Kasturba Kushta Nivaran Nilayam at Malavanthangal leprosy centre and construction of special facility for women.

    Pioneering work done by Shri Remy had decorated him with a number of national and international awards. ‘Chevalier grand croix de merits de I’ ordre Militaire et Hospitalier" was awarded to him by Saint Lazare of Jerusalem. The Lion’s Club Barcelona decorated him with the Golden Lion. The ‘Club Internacional del Libro’ of Madrid, conferred ‘Volontariat 1998’ award on him for his selfless service. It is worth mentioning that Mr. Remy donated the prize money for welfare of the students of Satyalayam School at Pondicherry.