President Ram Nath Kovind conferred the Nari Shakti Puraskar 2018 at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi, on International Women’s Day on Friday.
Out of the thousand nominations received, the department selected 44 awardees for the Nari Shakti Puraskar. We take a look at the winners and what the award is all about.
Nari Shakti Puraskar 2018
The Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi said that all the awardees were a face of change, reflecting the shift in the status of women in the country, from women development to women-led development.
No field has been left untouched, where women have not left their indelible mark, making women the leading force of our development trajectory.
– Maneka Gandhi
These are the winners of the Nari Shakti Puraskar 2018
Dr. A Seema developed a Bra that diagnoses breast cancer while Anshu Khanna founded Royal Fables and revived the tradition of palace karkhanas.
Anu Malhotra transformed the lives and minds of people through her documentaries and Anuradha N. Naik worked towards empowering the tribal women as well as for conserving the local germplasm of chilli varieties, Khola.
Chetna Gala Sinha is the Founder of Mann Deshi Mahila Sahkari Bank,the first bank in the country for and by rural women to receive a cooperative license from Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
Darshana Gupta formed an organization ‘ Banarasi Dass Gupta Foundation’ for women empowerment and initiated mass marriage of underprivileged women.
Delia Narayan Contractor designed eco-friendly buildings for over three decades while Gowri Kamakshi worked for uplifting the lives of many individuals through her non-profit interventions.
Founder of YouthNet Nagaland, Hekani Jakhalu Kense empowers youth while Ipsita Biswas evaluates bullet-proof jackets and mine protected vehicles for the armed forces and paramilitary.
Iti Tyagi promotes the Indian crafts and bridges the gap between rural and urban communities.
Kagganapalli Radha Devi works towards empowering women and promoting gender equality. She is instrumental in employing many women as barbers in temples.
Padma Shri awardee Kalpana Saroj is known for her persistent struggle for down trodden, underprivileged and backward masses, especially women.
Lalita Vakil is a Chamba Rumal embroiderer who revived the craft and bought it foremost.
The first female music composer of All India Radio and the first Garhwali female musician, Madhuri Barthwal works towards folk music preservation.
Manju Manikuttan made a significant difference to the lives of Indian women in Saudi Arabia.
Nari Shakti Puraskar 2018 awardee Meenakshi Pahuja encouraged women to take up sports and played an instrumental role in the lives of young women interested in swimming.
Mini Vasudevan launched an NGO, Humane Animal Society in Coimbatore and involved in animal welfare activities in India and abroad.
Munuswamy Shanthi commissioned the first Tele Command Station at Port Blair for down range commanding of launch vehicle in 2014 and has done remarkable work in the field of science and technology.
Nari Shakti Puraskar 2018 awardee Nomito Kamdar has been promoting outdoor learning, environmental conservation and social development for two and half decades.
Pamela Chatterjee worked for the reclamation of the uncultivable Sodic Soils (Usar Solid) while Pragya Prasun is an acid attack survivor turned activist and a social worker who is fighting for providing relief and rehabilitation to acid attack victims.
Priyamvada Singh has restored a 148-year old ancestral fort and developed it as a community run home stay. Pushpa N.M. aims to improve the lives and careers of specially-abled people.
Rahibai Popere conserved and multiplied 48 indigenous landacres of 17 different crops.
The first female performer and director of the creative presentation of Dhola Maru, Rajani Rajak, spread awareness about the art form.
Reshma Nilofer Naha is the first and only marine woman pilot in India and has navigated in River Pilotage.
Rhea Mazumdar Singhal founded the compostable food packing business Ecoware Solutions.
Ruma Devi who stitches and does embroidery also trains women to become entrepreneurs in the field.
Seema Kaushik Mehta runs one of the finest Kathak dance institutions in India, Chhandam Nritya Bharati (CNB).
The only woman trainer of commandos in India, Seema Rao has been training about 15,000 soldiers of various armed forces since 20 years.
Sister Shivani is a motivational speaker who has transformed millions of lives through her inspiring life-changing talks.
Smriti Morarka initiated ‘Tantuvi’ (Sanskrit word for weaver) in 1993 to revive weaving traditions and age-old techniques in Banaras.
Social worker Snehlata Nath aims to create a harmonious balance between nature, human and technology while Sonia Jabbar is a tea planter and wildlife conservationist.
Eye doctor Sujatha Mohan has performed more than 3,500 free eye camps through Chennai Vision Charitable Trust and has performed over 80,000 Cataract Surgeries.
Sunita Devi has been empowering women to turn to masonry and is pioneering the cause of rural toilet hygiene.
Twinkle Kalia has been awarded the Nari Shakti Puraskar 2018 for providing free ambulance services in Delhi by running a dozen of ambulances with her husband.
Urmi Basu founded ‘New Light’ to provide education and improve the lives of children of sex workers in the red light area.
Forest grower in the coastal district of Kerala, Devaki Amma protects biodiversity by planting and nurtures plants.
Neelum Sharma is a filmmaker with more than 60 documentaries on subjects like women empowerment, social justice, rural and community development, and environment.
Qasab, Kutch Craftswomen Producer Co. Ltd. was initiated in 1997. It has not only ensured sustainable livelihood opportunities for craftsmen in the remote areas but has also became a platform for expressing creativity.
This year, the Nari Shakti Puraskar has also been awarded to a One Stop Centre (OTC), Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, and to the Social Welfare and Nutritious Meal Programme Department, Tamil Nadu.
One Stop Centres are being developed to provide 24×7 integrated services to women affected by violence under one roof, including handholding them in filing of FIRs, providing them legal aid, medical aid, psycho-social counseling and temporary shelter upto 5 days.
The Social Welfare and Nutritious Meal Programme Department of Tamil Nadu has shown exceptional progress in improving child sex ratio at birth under the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme.
Nari Shakti Puraskar Award
The Nari Shakti Puraskar is the highest civilian honour for women in India.
Established in 1991, the award is conferred by the President on the International Women’s Day.
It honours women, organizations and institutions for their exceptional achievement and exemplary service to the cause of upliftment of women.
It carries the cash reward of Rs. 1 lakh along with a certificate for individuals and institutions.
(Note – All the photos are courtesy the Twitter handle of the Ministry of WCD.)