On the occasion of the International Women's Day on March 8, the Ministry of Women and Child Development confers "Nari Shakti Puruskars" to eminent women, organisations and institutions every year.
This year, President Ram Nath Kovind presented the awards to 15 women achievers of 2019 at the Rashtrapati Bhawan on Sunday. From activist to fighter pilots, the achievers were from all walks of life.
*Indian Air Forces' women fighter pilots - Mohana Jitarwal, Avani Chaturvedi, and Bhawana Kanth: The three are the first women fighter pilots to take a solo flight in MIG-21 in 2018.
"We've been thriving to become operational to serve our nation. We have a lot to achieve," the IAF women said.
IAF's first women fighter pilots Mohana Jitarwal,Avani Chaturvedi&Bhawana Kanth,to receive'Nari Shakti Puraskar' today. The first Indian women pilots to take a solo flight in MIG-21 in'18, say,"We've been thriving to become operational to serve our nation.We've a lot to achieve". pic.twitter.com/YRG9TSyFa1— ANI (@ANI) March 8, 2020
*Bhageerathi Amma, 105, and Karthyayini Amma, 98, from Kerala's Kollam: They are the oldest learners under the Kerala State Literacy Mission, who passed their Class IV literacy equivalent examinations early this year. However, the duo could not attend the award ceremony due to their age.
*Athlete Mann Kaur,104, from Chandigarh, who started her career in athletics at the age of 93, has won four golds (track and field) at the World Masters Athletic Championship in Poland. She has bagged over 30 medals in track and field events across the world and was also the world's fastest centenarian at the American Masters Games, 2016.
*Padala Bhudevi from Telangana: Bhudevi was recognised for her work toward the development of tribal women, widows, Podu lands through a community-based organisation - CAVS (Chinnaya Adhivasi Vikas Society).
*Kalavati Devi from Kanpur: A mason, the 58-year-old has been the crusader for reducing open defecation in the district. She has built over 4,000 toilets in and around Kanpur.
*Kaushiki Chakroborty from Kolkata: Indian classical vocalist and a Sangeet Natak Akademi in 2010 awardee.
*Rashmi Urdhwardeshe: An automotive research professional who has worked for the development of automobile technologies in India.
*Arifa Jan from Srinagar: She has presented the award for her work towards the revival of the dying crafts of Jammu and Kashmir.
*Chami Murmu - Popularly known as the 'Lady Tarzan' of Jharkhand, Murmu is an environmentalist who has successfully planted more than 25 lakh trees with the forest department and mobilised 3,000 women in the area.
*Nilza Wangmo from Leh - A women entrepreneur who uns Alchi Kitchen Restaurant, the first restaurant to serve traditional Ladakhi cuisine. She has widely promoted Ladakhi cuisines and has represented Ladakhi recipes in 5-star hotels in India.
*Bina Devi from Bihar - Popularly known as 'Mushroom Mahila', she has popularised mushroom cultivation. She was also the 'Sarpanch' of Dhauri Panchayat, Tetiabamber block for five years.
*Tashi and Nungshi Malik - First female twins to scale Mount Everest in 2013 and the founders of Nungshi Tashi Foundation that aims to develop mountaineering as a sport.
Interacting with 14 of the 15 recipients at his official residence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "You encouraged people to come together for a cause. When you started your work, you must have done it as a mission or to do something valuable in life or would have just gone with the flow. It must not have been for reward, but today you've become an inspiration for others."