The Chinagiri Award – Human Rights in South Asia

The Chingari Award for Women Against Corporate Crimes is a recognition given by the Chingari Trust to a woman activist who has embraced the cause of a community fighting against corporate criminal activity in India. The award is made up of a citation, a trophy representing a mother escaping from toxic gas with one child in her arm and the other clinging to her preceding figure, and a monetary prize of Rs. 50,000. The uniqueness of this award lies in the fact that it was created by two members of the all-women survivor group “Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationary Karamchari Sangh”, Rashida Bee and Champa Devi Shukla, with the money they were awarded with the 2004 Goldman Environment Prize.

Notwithstanding the fact that both women are the sole bread winners in their respective families, and are afflicted by serious health issues, they chose to use the money they were given to set up the Chingari Trust and its eponymous award, with the main objective of bringing attention to the struggle of women who have faced corporate crimes without any commendation or recognition. The award is also expected to raise awareness about the growing need for corporate accountability.

The criteria taken into account to nominate a candidate for the award is that the individual is a woman who campaigns against corporate crimes; takes up the struggle in a remote part of India; has put up a sustained struggle (at least five years); has brought about changes in a company’s behavior and/or the lives of a community; is well-respected and her community supports her; has carried her work at great personal risk; whose current work would be meaningfully impacted by the Award; whose work is not related to any political parties, and is is non-sectarian and secular; and who could provide inspiration to others.