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Women’s Day: Meet 16 ‘Nari Shaktis’ that inspire awe

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New Delhi, March 8, 2020-

President Ram Nath Kovind gave away the twelve Nari Shakti Puraskar, 2019 to the awardees in an event at President House, here in New Delhi on Sunday. Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharam were among the dignitaries present to award the extraordinary achievements by women on the occasion of Women”s Day.

Here is a glimpse of all those who received awards:

1. Padala Bhudevi:

A resident of Andhra Pradesh, Bhudevi is a role model for women farmers and rural women entrepreneurs. She has been working for the development of tribal women, widows, Podu lands through a community based organization – CAVS (Chinnai Adhivasi Vikas Society) which was established by her father in 1996.

She is also the Director of Manyam Grains Pvt Ltd and Manyadeepika Farmers Producer Company Ltd. She has been involved in spreading awareness on improving mother and child nutritional health, with assistance from Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA).

She has also trained 30 women in making mehendi cones and hair care products. Despite being forcefully married at the age of 11, facing mental and physical torture from husband and in-laws, Padala Bhudevi has come a long way.

2. Bina Devi:

Bina Devi from Bihar”s Munger is fondly known as ”Mushroom Mahila” for popularizing mushroom cultivation. She trained farmers on mushroom farming, organic farming, vermin-compost production, organic insecticide preparation at home. She has generated self- employment among rural women and also engaged in dairy farming and goat farming.

She has popularized mushroom production in 5 blocks and 105 neighbouring villages in Munger district, impacting 1500 women by making them adopt mushroom farming. She has been involved in spreading digital literacy and was awarded for training 700 women on how to use mobile phone by Tata Trusts. She has trained 2500 farmers on SRI Method crop farming and supported formulation of Self Help groups.

3. Arifa Jan:

Srinagar”s Arifa is the founder of Numdha Handicrafts and is responsible for reviving the lost art. She has trained more than 100 women in Kashmir. She has employed 25 Kashmiris and increased wages of her employees from Rs 175 to Rs 450. Despite financial constraints and criticized for being a female entrepreneur, she has actively promoted new designs of Numdhas.

4. Chami Murmu:

Forty seven-year-old Chami has been a passionate environmentalist for the last 24 years. She is the Chief Functionary Officer – Sahyogi Mahila, Rajnagar, Jharkhand. She has been involved in planting of more than 25 lakh trees with the Forest Department and mobilized more than 3000 women. She has got constructed watersheds, goat sheds, poultry sheds and nutrition gardens.

She has actively worked towards protecting local wildlife by saving forests from Tiber mafia and Naxalites. She is fondly known as the ”Lady Tarzan” of Jharkhand. She has received the Indira Priyadarshani Vriksha Mitra Award from Ministry of Environment and Forests in 1996.

5. Nilza Wangmo:

Nilza is an entrepreneur, running Alchi Kitchen Restaurant. The restaurant is the first one to serve traditional Ladakhi cuisines including some exquisite and forgotten recipes.

She has trained 20 women from remote areas of Ladakh who manage the restaurant. She has travelled and represented Ladakhi recipes in 5 star hotels in India. She has been involved in charitable works with People”s Action Group for Inclusion and Rights, a movement to create prejudice free society and sponsored girl”s education. Despite having lost her father before her birth and dropping out of college due to financial constraints.

6. Rashmi Urdhwardeshe:

She is automotive and R&D professional since 36 years. Since 2014, she has been the Director of the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI). She has rich experience in the fields of automotive R&D, testing and homologation, Framing of test standards and regulations, etc.

She developed electronic controls of hydraulic testing machines and contributed towards emission measurements under which the first ever emission Laboratory was formed in India. She has undertaken creation of National Automotive Technology Museum.

7. Mann Kaur:

Known as ”Miracle from Chandigarh”, Mann Kaur started her athletic career at the age of 93. She won 4 Gold (Track and Field) at World Masters Athletic Championship, Poland. She has set a record by becoming the world”s fastest centenarian at the American Masters Game, 2016.

The 103-year-old lady has won more than 20 medals in World Masters Games and America Masters Game (Gold), 100 m World Masters Games in New Zealand in 2017 (100m and 200 m) at National Level, Gold (100 m and 200m) at Worlds Master Championship at USA in 2013.

She has been associated with Fit India Movement. She is the oldest person to walk along the top of Auckland”s Sky Tower (2017). Despite suffering from osteoporosis, she has displayed how determination is key to success.

8. Kalavati Devi:

She is the lady mason, a driving force towards reducing open defecation in the district of Kanpur. She is responsible for building more than 4000 toilets in villages in and around Kanpur.

She has gone door to door to create awareness about the ills of open defecation and travelled for hours in villages across Kanpur. Her indomitable spirit did not shake despite being a single earner in the family, taking care of her elder daughter and her two grandchildren after the untimely death of her husband and son-in-law.

9. Tashi and Nungshi Malik:

Tashi and Nungshi are mountaineers since more than 8 years. They are the first female twins to scale Mt Everest in 2013.

They have scaled Mount Kilimanjaro of Africa in 2015 and Mt Vinson of Antarctica in 2014 as well. They founded NungshiTashi Foundation in 2015 to empower girls and develop mountaineering as a sport. They have been conferred with Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award in 2016 and Leif Erikson Young Explorers Award in 2016.

10. Kaushiki Chakroborty:

She is an Indian classical vocalist with more than 15 years of experience, and she is Khayal and Thumri exponent. She has performed internationally in more than 5 countries including the USA and the UK.

She has sung more than 90 songs from albums like ”Vishwaroopam II”, ”Mirzya”. She belongs to the Patiala Gharana. In 2015, she founded Sakhi Women”s Musical Group, first all women classical band, joined by famous classical musicians. She has been conferred Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puruskar by Sangeet Natak Akademi in 2010.

11. Avani Chaturvedi, Bhawanna Kanth, Mohana Singh Jitarwal:

For Indian Air Force”s first women fighter pilots Mohana Singh, Bhawana Kanth & Avani Chaturvedi, only sky is the limit. The trio was induced into IAF fighter squadron after Government of India decided to open fighter stream in IAF for women on experimental basis. They became the first Indian women pilots to take a solo flight in a MIG-21 in 2018.

Avani Chaturvedi, posted to No. 23 Squadron (Panthers), Suratgarh, Rajasthan. She has been promoted to the rank of Flight Lieutenant in 2018. She has earned an honorary Doctorate in 2018 conferred by Banasthai Vidyapeeth.

Bhawana Kanth was born in Darbhanga Bihar and completed her BE (Medical Electronics) from Bengaluru. She is posted to No 3 Squadron (Cobras), Ambala, Haryana. She completed her fighter pilot training and got commissioned in 2016.

Mohana Singh was born in Agra and did her schooling from Air Force School in New Delhi. Her Father – Shri Pratap Singh is Indian Air Force personnel – Warrant Officer. Her grandfather Shri Ladu Ram Jat died fighting the 1948 during Indo-Pak war and was awarded Vir Chakra Award posthumously.

12. Bhageerathi Amma and Karthyayini Amma:

Bhageerathi Amma and Karthyayini Amma have passed the Class IV literacy equivalent examinations. Bhageerathi Amma was inspired to take the examinations conducted by the State Literacy Mission in Malayalam, Mathematics and Environment in November, 2019.

At 105 years, she is the oldest literacy equivalent learner under Kerala State Literacy Mission. She had to quit education to take care of her siblings. With her memory and eyesight intact, her 67-year-old daughter was present to help her during the examinations.

Karthyayini Amma appeared for writing the fourth standard equivalency course under Kerala Literacy Mission”s Akasharalaksham Scheme in August, 2018. She bagged the first rank and scored 98 per cent marks. She aspires to clear tenth standard equivalent examination when she turns 100 and also acquire computer skills. She was also selected as the Commonwealth of Learning Goodwill Ambassador.  (Agency)

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