In 1981, Lapierre founded a humanitarian association rescuing children suffering from leprosy from the slums of Calcutta, which is supported by half the royalties from his literary successes. Lapierre went back to Calcutta to visit his "children" and stayed two years researching, after which he published another best-seller, The City of Joy. This book, which was made into a major motion picture starring Patrick Swayze, has sold over eight million copies. It tells the epic survival story of the population of one of India's poorest slums. It was rewarded with the prestigious U.S. literary Christopher Award. While researching in Calcutta, Lapierre became a close associate of Mother Teresa who gave him the exclusive authorization to write a film on her life and the work of her sisters, the Missionaries of Charity. With Geraldine Chaplin playing the role of Mother Teresa, the film Mother Teresa - In the Name of God's Poor was aired, at prime time, on the Family Channel in the U.S. and several European channels. Lapierre's script has been nominated by the prestigious Humanitas Prize for communicating the best values. This year Dominique Lapierre has recieved prestigious civil award Padma Bhushan from Government of India.