A DOCTOR fighting for the rights of children, a nun helping destitute women and a Zambian looking to end marginalisation, are all in the running for this year’s Robert Burns Humanitarian Award.

The award is bestowed annually on a group or individual who shows selflessness and dedication in a bid to save, enrich or improve the lives of others.

And those in the running this year are Dr Digambar Narzary; Sister Lucy Kurien; and Paul Kasonkomona.

Dr Digambar Narzary is a child’s rights activist and founder of an organisation called NEDAN which tackles human trafficking in north east India.

Since its formation in 2004, it’s estimated that NEDAN has rescued around 6,100 girls.

These young women have been saved from horrors such as sexual slavery; bonded labour; forced marriage; and the illegal trafficking of human organs.

Dr Narzary said: “I am a child rights activist and have been liberating children from modern day slavery for the last two decades.

"I want to continue my work and provide new lives to children.”

Sister Lucy Kurien is the founder of Maher, a community and interfaith organisation for abused and destitute women and children.

Sister Lucy joined the Holy Cross order at the age of 19.

In 1997 she founded Maher meaning ‘Mother’s Home’.

Maher currently looks after 893 street children; more than 357 destitute women (including 126 mentally ill homeless women); and 82 elderly or mentally ill destitute men.

She said: “I resolved to dedicate myself to bettering the lives of the destitute and the poor.

"Working for them has been a joy.”

Paul Kasonkomona is a human rights defender and executive director of the Centre for Tolerance and Peace, in Zambia.

He champions the human rights of health care workers; LGBTI people; and other groups.

In 2013, Paul was held for 22 months after taking part in a TV show where he argued that recognition of gay rights was necessary to combat the Aids epidemic in Africa.

Paul said: "I am at a loss for words, this is a very special moment in my life.”

The winner will be announced on Tuesday.