Robert Burns Humanitarian Award

Robert Burns Humanitarian Award 2023

Burns was born 25th January 1759, and many of South Ayrshire’s myths and legends are reflected in his stories, but he also fought for social justice and encouraged people to help one another. It’s these qualities we remember through the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award (RBHA). Every January as part of the RBHA, we tell the stories of inspirational people who help others.

About the award

The Robert Burns Humanitarian Award is a globally-respected honour bestowed annually on a group or individual who shows selflessness and dedication in a bid to save, enrich or improve the lives of others through the protection and promotion of human rights and work to deliver social reform.

Named in honour of Scotland’s son, Robert Burns, this much sought after humanitarian award applauds the efforts of people who bring hope and inspiration, often in desperate situations, and help change lives for the better.

As Scotland’s National Bard, Robert Burns is celebrated as a pioneer of his generation, with his dynamic vision inspiring the founders of socialism and liberalism. The humanitarian values he embraced in his short life are captured for eternity in his rousing world famous works which are now his legacy. Burns’ work continues to inspire people from all walks of life and in all corners of the globe.

The Robert Burns Humanitarian Award is supported by South Ayrshire Council. The winner receives a specially commissioned award handcrafted in Scotland and the equivalent of 1759 guineas – a sum which signifies the year of the Bard’s birth and the coinage in circulation at the time – equating to £1,800 in today’s currency.

Burns is one of Scotland’s favourite icons, encapsulating the very essence that makes Scots Scottish. More information about how to celebrate Burns’ Day and the life of the Bard himself can be found at

Dr Digambar Narzary – 2022 Winner

The 2022 RBHA winner is Dr Digambar Narzary.  Dr Digambar Narzary, a child rights activist, is the founder and Chairperson of the NEDAN Foundation, a non-governmental organisation and a charitable trust based in the north-east region of India. NEDAN is a Bodo Tribal word meaning ‘open space’ and the NEDAN Foundation was formed to tackle the issues and problems resulting from human trafficking.

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