Singapore : After much deliberation, the fourth annual Reader”s Digest Asian of the Year award for 2010 has been awarded to Taiwan’s Chen Shu-Chu, who has devoted her working life to helping those less fortunate than herself.
A humble vegetable market stall holder, Chen has managed to save and donate NT$10 million ($321,550) towards various charitable causes around children, healthcare and education.
Chen’s work has been more remarkable because she doesn’t fund raise or seek donations, but rather she goes without, in order to save the proceeds of her meager earnings to donate to worthwhile causes. She is so acclaimed that even Oscar winning director Ang Lee has endorsed her work.
Asian Reader’s Digest Editor Dora Cheok explains what it means to be the winner of such an honorable award: “We look for a person who embodies the best contemporary expression of Asian values, as well as those of Reader’s Digest, and who is working to shape the future of Asia in a positive manner.”
“We are looking out for ordinary people doing extraordinary things and that remains our fundamental theme,” she continues.
Three other noteworthy people have been singled out for honorable mentions in the 2010 Reader’s Digest Asian of the Year award:They were: India’s Kousalya Periasamy – who campaigns tirelessly for medical treatment and jobs for HIV positive women. Hong Kong’s Susan Lam Kwai-Ha – who quietly devotes her time, love and concern to assist the elderly and destitute – even going so far as to arrange their funeral rites when their time comes.Thailand’s Bungon Rithiphakdee – who wages a constant war against big tobacco companies and established the South East Asia Tobacco Control alliance (SEATCA.)
Taiwan’s Chen Shu-Chu takes over the title of Reader’s Digest Asian of the year from India’s Jockin Arputham, who has devoted his life to helping slum dwellers. Other former winners include actor and director Jet Li (2009), for his work on the One Foundation, Thailand’s Krisana Kraisintu for work with HIV and malaria (2008) and Nepalese eye surgeon Dr Sanduk Puit in 2007.