Mumbai: Ajeet Singh, who has rescued over 100 sex-workers from Varanasi area, received `Man of the Year 2011` award of the news-weekly `The Week`.
Singh received the award from Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan here this evening.
"Ajeet Singh is archetypal of the people we select for this honour. We prefer not to pick those who have been awarded in the country or abroad, and, deliberately, choose to honour those faceless heroes, whose work has benefited the society at large.
"We also look for a larger vision and personal commitment, something beyond writing out a philanthropic cheque. Our very first man of the year Baba Amte satisfied all counts; so does Singh," `The Week` said.
Chavan congratulated both the Malayala Manorama Group (which publishes the weekly) and Ajeet Singh for "being different". Chavan also said that despite innumerable laws, the country`s record in humanitarian issues was not great. Most of the times, the laws are not implemented effectively, he admitted.
Singh, who runs NGO `Guria`, said: "Everyone wants a Bhagat Singh to be born, but not in their house."
Singh said it all started when at 17 he went to his cousin`s wedding and was shocked to see a female sex-worker dancing through the night, disregarding lewd comments from men around.
An outraged Singh took her children into his house, against his parents` wishes, and sent them to school.
Since then he has rescued and rehabilitated over 100 sex workers, most of them under-age girls.
Singh, son of a retired police officer PN Singh, said his primary work, however, was among the children of sex workers and those from impoverished families.
Singh is married to Manju, an orphan, and the couple has named their daughter Barish (rain).