For the then Hon’ble Prime Minister,
Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee- 1997

Sulabh International organised a function at Vigyan Bhawan on November 26, 1998 to confer on him the award for 1997. Prime Minister was in a dilemma whether it would be appropriate for the Prime Minister to accept an award glorifying him as “honest man of the year”. Finding a way out he immediately returned the cheque for Rs. 5 lakh which came with the award.

Mr Vajpayee said his name was proposed for the honour when he was the leader of the opposition last year. He was reluctant to say “yes” but when he saw the names of the jury members who had selected him for the honour, he decided to accept it.

“Tough measures have to be taken to enforce ethical order in the administration without which good governance will not be possible. The time is now to bring about moral resurgence in Indian society and absolute honesty and transparency in the system to achieve great things.” said the Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, while accepting the Sulabh’s Honest Man of the Year Award – 1997.

The Award carries Rs. 5 lakh cash, a gold medal, a plaque and a citation. The jury members were: Mr justice Yadunath Sharan Singh, former Judge of the Patna High Court, Mr. Justice S. Shamshul Hasan, former judge of the Patna High Court and Dr. Zeyauddin Ahmed, Vice Chancellor of the Dr. Ambedkar University, Bihar.