The government’s think tank, NITI Aayog, in partnership with MyGov and the United Nations, announced yesterday, August 29, the winners of the Women Transforming India Award 2017 – which was launched on International Women’s Day, March 8.
“NITI Aayog strongly believes in the power of women to contribute towards the development of the country, and we have instituted these awards precisely to recognize these contributions and encourage many more women to step forward,” says Dr Arvind Panagariya, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog, reported Press Information of Bureau (PIB).
The award which recognised the exceptional work of 12 women in critical areas such as preventing violence against women, bridging the gender gap in education, providing healthcare, building livelihoods and enterprises for women, and promoting inclusion for persons with disabilities, was given by Textile and I&B Minister Smriti Irani.
Around 3,000 entries were received for the awards from across India and the winners were chosen by an eminent jury comprising of P.T. Usha, track and field Olympian; Pooja Thakur, Wing Commander, Indian Air Force; Nirupama Rao, Former Foreign Secretary and Ambassador, Arvind Panagariya, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog; Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog and Yuri Afanasiev, UN Resident Coordinator.
The 12 women who won were:
Laxmi Agarwal, Uttar Pradesh
In 2005, 14-year-old Laxmi’s stalker threw acid on her face for turning down his proposals. Gradually, she fought the trauma of the incident and became a champion of survivors like her. She became an activist campaigner for Stop Acid Attacks. In 2014, she had received the International Women of Courage Award by the then US First Lady Michelle Obama. Laxmi has also filed a PIL in the Supreme Court to restrict the sale of acid.
Safeena Husain, Maharashtra
She is the founder and executive director of an NGO Educate Girls, which works towards educating girls’ education in India.
Kamal Kumbhar, Maharashtra
Daughter of a daily-wage earner, Kamal walked out of poverty and a failed marriage to set up Kamal Poultry and Ekta Sakhi Producer Company which has 3,000 women in the drought-prone region of Osmanabad, Maharashtra to set up small poultry ventures for a premium variety of chicken.
Subasini Mistry, West Bengal
She lost her husband at a young age due to lack of medical care and toiled for two decades to build a hospital for the needy.
Arunima Sinha, Uttar Pradesh
The first female amputee to scale the highest mountain in the world, Mt Everest.
Jamuna Tudu, Jharkhand
Along with her band of women activists, Jamuna Tudu has conserved 50 hectares of forest land around her village in Jharkhand, taking on encroachers with little more than bows and arrows and courage.
Rajlakshmi Borthakur, Karnataka
Determined to save her child’s life, Rajlakshmi Borthakur researched epilepsy for more than three years and developed a simple wearable device, a smart glove, that can predict epileptic seizures before they happen.
Harshini Kanhekar, Maharashtra
She is India’s first woman firefighter.
Sunita Kamble, Maharashtra
As a goat doctor in the severe drought affected region, Sunita Kamble worked with her team to protect the community’s livestock and create alternative and sustainable livelihood opportunities for women.
Kiran Kanojia, Madhya Pradesh
Survivor of a horrific accident, Kiran Kanojia, is a champion blade runner, constantly pushing the limits on her quest for the next challenge.
Shima Modak, Meghalaya
For almost a decade, Shima Modak has been working relentlessly for the welfare of the distressed. Albeit with very little financial assistance, Shima has helped improve the future of children in her community by taking free education to the doorstep of the vulnerable.
Kanika Tekriwal, Haryana
A self-made aviation entrepreneur and cancer survivor, Kanika Tekriwal launched her company, JetSetGo in 2013. JetSetGo, India’s first marketplace for chartered jets, is an interactive technology-driven platform enabling users to charter aircrafts and helicopters around India.
The Logical Indian community congratulates the women for battling all odds and helping transform the country. We also commend the government for recognising their hard work and giving them a platform where the entire country can be inspired by their deeds.