RANGOON — Dr. Than Min Htut, a medical doctor who provides health care and promotes reproductive health access in villages in rural Shan State, has been announced as the recipient of the 2016 Citizen of Burma Award.
The award, given by members of the Burmese diaspora, has been bestowed since 2010 to those deemed to have done exceptional work for the good of Burmese society.
This year, additional awards were given to a political science educator, a musical group and an educational storytelling group.
In addition to using his background as a medical doctor to treat patients in need, Than Min Htut also has been working on building schools, digging wells and setting up homes for senior citizens.
“I am happy to receive this award, but I feel like more work needs to be done,” he told The Irrawaddy.
The US-based Citizen of Burma Award organization also honored Khin Ma Ma Myo, the founder of the Myanmar Institute of Peace and Security Studies and the director of the Women, Peace and Security Initiative.
Khin Ma Ma Myo, a Japan- and UK-educated academic, participated in the Union Peace Conference in January representing women’s issues, and she is an expert on government institutions, politics and gender issues.
Another awardee, The Storyteller Group, was founded by a group of young people who go to schools, orphanages and community centers to tell educational and entertaining stories.
The final award recipient was Pan Ye Lan, which means “Flower Lane” in Burmese. A musical group, Pan Ye Lan busks around the country to collect donations for the poor and drum up support for National League for Democracy (NLD) campaigns.
A formal award ceremony will be held on Saturday in Rangoon. The Citizen of Burma Award recipient will receive US$10,000, and the three additional awardees will be given $1,000 each.