New York, Aug 8 (IANS) “Slumdog Millionaire…” hero Dev Patel is being honoured with the Asian Game Changer award for 2017 by the Asia Society in recognition of his “using celebrity to place a spotlight on India’s poor”.
Announcing the award on Tuesday, Asia Society President Josette Sheeran said: “In a world of challenges, it is important to honour the dreamers and leaders, those who take action and those who inspire us to build a better world.”
The Aga Khan is also being honored this year with the Asia Game Changer Lifetime Achievement Award.
In honouring Patel, Asia Society said his roles in “Slumdog Millionaire…” and “Lion” “challenge audiences to view India’s poor not as teeming, desperate masses but as individuals imbued with hopes, dreams, and opportunities”.
The British-born actor “has also built bridges of understanding between India, a country so frequently reduced to stereotype, and audiences in the West”, it added.
Patel, who refers to himself as just a “guy from London,” has established lasting ties with his ancestral homeland and his #lionheart campaign has raised over $250,000 to support homeless children in India, the Society said.
The nine Game Changer awardees, who include Tadashi Yanai, the founder of clothing retailing chain UNIQLO, Mongolian Eagle huntress, Aisholpan Nurgaiv, and Afghan rapper Sonita Alizadeh are to honoured at a dinner at the United Nations on Nov. 1.
They were selected by members of the Asia Society’s global network.
Previous winners of the Game Change award include ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar; Alibaba founder Jack Ma, architect I.M Pei and Nobel Prize-winner Malala Yusufzai.