Women Transforming India Awards is an innovative step in the transformations that are imperative to assure gender equivalence are underlined to enhance awareness about the existent disparities and also to celebrate the accomplishments of women who have reached milestones despite hurdles. Launched on International Women’s Day 2016, these awards are a reflection of the government’s enduring commitment to promote gender equality. To add more fuel to the Government of India’s mission of inclusive economic growth and to honor extraordinary women across India, the 2017 edition of this event was launched by NITI Aayog in collaboration with MyGov and the United Nations in India.
Here is a brief profile of the winners:
Anurima Sinha was pushed out of a running train. Even after losing her leg and being confronted by a future far from certainty, she rose as the first woman amputee to reach the top of the world’s highest mountain after 52 days of grueling climb. Arunima Sinha’s breathtaking story is one of valor, persistence and strength of belief.
Jamuna Tudu and her league of women diehards that form the Van Suraksha Samiti, founded by her, succeeded in protecting 50 hectares of forest area surrounding her village in Jharkhand. Their loads of mettle along with a modest supply of bows and arrows caused the encroachers to retreat. Her Samiti has around 60 active women members who scout the jungles in three shifts a day; morning, noon and evening.
Kamal Kumbhar tore apart the shackles of poverty and a repressive marriage to set up a micro-enterprise network, capacitating women to achieve their dreams. Her organization has empowered 3,000 women in drought-prone Osmanabad to set up small poultry ventures and she herself has earnestly mentored more than 5,000 women to set up micro-enterprises.
Laxmi was attacked with acid in 2005 when she was just 15-years-old by an assailant exceeding twice her age. Though this broad daylight onslaught in the Capital’s busiest market left her physically and psychologically scarred it could not deter her from filing public interest litigation in India’s apex court to restrict the sale of acid. Laxmi continues her battle against false and sexist stereotypes forced on women by society.
Safeena Husain, is the architect and executive director of Educate Girls. Hers is a non-profit establishment that works to educate girls in some of the most academically undeveloped districts of India. Educate Girls has now reached a 12,000+ schools programme, having more than 1,50,000 girls registered in schools till date, with more than 3.8 million total beneficiaries.
After her husband passed away due to scarce medical facilities at a young age, Subasini Mistry labored for 20 years to achieve her dream of building a hospital for the impoverished. She has proved that not youth, wealth and education, but tremendous hard work and undying hope can achieve aspirations.
These are the profiles of the Runners-up
For the first time in 46 years of its history, a woman in uniform marched through the gates of the National Fire Service College of Nagpur. Harshini Kanhekar etched her name in both, the college’s chronicles and the country’s fire services to appear as India’s first woman firefighter.
A self-crafted aviation entrepreneur and winner of her battle against cancer, Kanika Tekriwal is a live example of the fortitude of optimistic beliefs and tactical risk-taking. She launched her company, JetSetGo, which is India’s first marketplace for chartered jets. Its Delhi company’s revenues have grown from $64,200 in fiscal 2015 to $3.2 million in fiscal 2016 JetSetGo presently markets or manages the largest fleet in India.
Coming victorious through a grisly accident, Kiran Kanojia, is an accomplished blade runner, who is always bursting at the seams for thrilling adventures and new challenges. In 2014, Kiran won her first medal at the Hyderabad Airtel Marathon. Her ambition is to participate in the Paralympic Games and bring honor to the nation.
Devastation hit Rajlakshmi Borthakur in the form of her young son’s harsh epilepsy. His seizures frequently struck ruthlessly and without warning. After an obsessive research on epilepsy spanning across three years, she created a simple wearable smart glove that can predict epileptic seizures prior to their occurrence.
Since more than 10 years, Shima Modak has been working resolutely for the upliftment of the distressed. Supported by meagre finances, Shima has helped in upgrading the future of the children in her community by bringing free education to the doorsteps of the underprivileged. Her NGO runs evening classes for women in Anjali, Shillong. Today, she runs five educational centres having 16 teachers across Shillong and nearly 450 students.
Sunita Kamble braved all odds to come victorious as the first woman goat doctor in a geographical belt hit critically by scorching droughts. She and her team toil to preserve the community’s domestic animals and generate alternate means of sustenance and occupational opportunities for women.
These women are part of a movement that involves thousands of Indian women towards the development and prosperity of our motherland, India. We need more such success stories and that is possible when we extend further support to these real-life heroes.
Click here to read the eBook and know about these women in detail.
Here are some moments from the Award Ceremony