Two win Critical Language Scholarships from U.S. State Department
Binalakshmi “Bina” Nepram has been honored with the 2018 Anna Politkovskaya Award for her ceaseless efforts as a human rights activist and author and for her leadership addressing disarmament issues in her home country of India.
Nepram joined Connecticut College in January thanks to the Scholar Rescue Fund, a program sponsored by the Institute of International Education that provides sanctuary for scholars around the world who are forced to flee their countries due to war or government oppression, and generous support from The Ann Werner Johnson '68 Scholar Rescue Fund. Nepram came to the United States in 2017 to escape threats on her life due to her activism.
Founder of the Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network and co-founder of the Control Arms Foundation of India, Nepram has remained engaged with the work of those organizations from afar. She has also been able to continue her research, writing and humanitarian work while at Conn.
The Politkovskaya award is named after the Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, who was assassinated in October 2006. The award, given each year by the human rights organization, Reach All Women in War (RAW in WAR), recognizes women who fight social injustice around the world at great risk to their own safety. The Belarusian journalist Svetlana Alexievich, who in 2015 received the Nobel Prize in Literature, won the award alongside Nepram.
“I receive this honor wholeheartedly, on behalf of the Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network, Control Arms Foundation of India and the Northeast India Women Initiative for Peace,” Nepram said upon learning she would receive the award.
Nepram’s work has been widely celebrated with a variety of awards and honors, including the Dalai Lama Foundation's WISCOMP Scholar of Peace Award, the Sean MacBride Peace Prize and the CNN IBN Real Heroes Award, among others.
The award will be presented next March in London at RAW in WAR’s "Refusing to be Silenced" event.