Former Kerala Health Minister K K Shailaja has been awarded the prestigious Central European University (CEU) Open Society Prize in recognition of her commitment to public health services.
This prize is awarded annually to people who serve the ideals of an open society. This award was given during the 30th graduation ceremony, held online.
The President and Rector of CEU, Michael Ignatieff, announced the award for “Shailaja Teacher” and said the prize is awarded this year to an “extraordinary public servant” from the developing world.
She, as a minister of public health in Kerala, along with the dedicated staff of public health service, during the COVID-19 pandemic, demonstrated to the world that determined leadership, community-based public health and effective communication can save lives.
Michael said that “Shailaja Teacher’s example will inspire young women” to enter public service and Kerala’s record in containing the epidemic gives hope to nations in the developing world. By awarding CEU’s highest award to Shailaja Teacher, the university honours a public servant and female leader for her commitment to public health services.”
Teacher, as the Communist leader is fondly addressed by all, told the graduating students that, “Learning is a continuous process and asked them to stay curious and keep learning and share your knowledge with others. We live in an increasingly volatile and unpredictable world where leaders must rise to global challenges and work out new constructive solutions together, to build an equitable society. As you step out into the world, this is an opportunity for each one of you to change the world and write history. Find that leader in you.”
–Age- 18 years