IN an impressive ceremony organised on June 24 in Brussels and attended by several Presidents, Prime Ministers and Ambassadors, the Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar became the first Indian to receive Crans Montana Forum Award. This award has been mainly received by politicians of high repute like Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, Shimon Peres, President of Israel, Yasser Arafat, former leader of Palestine Liberation Organisation, Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission and Mikhail Gorbachev, former President of the Soviet Union.
Along with Sri Sri, the other recipients for 2011 were Shri Alassane Ouattara (President of Cote d’Ivoire), Shri Adrian Nastase (former Prime Minister of Romania), Shri Philippe Maystadt (President of the European Investment Bank), Shri Tahar Benjelloun (psychologist and writer) Shri Mohamed Ibn Chambas (Secretary General of the African, Caribbean and Pacific, Group of States) and Richard Holbrooke (Ambassador of the United States of America) who was awarded posthumously.
On conferring the award to Sri Sri, Jean Paul Carteron, founder of the Crans Montana forum said: “In you, the East is not only leading the world in spirit, but in action as well. You have broadened the vision of those who are more fortunate and have shared with the less fortunate. If your teachings were followed by politicians, the world would be a different place.”
On receiving the award, Sri Sri said he would share it with all those millions who are silently working to make the world a better place.