New Delhi, March 8: On International Women’s Day on Tuesday, President Ram Nath Kovind conferred the Nari Shakti Puraskars on 29 outstanding individuals for 2020 and 2021.
Twenty-eight awards — 14 each for 2020 and 2021 — were given to the women in recognition of their exceptional work towards women empowerment, especially the vulnerable and marginalised.
The Nari Shakti Puraskar is a women and child development ministry initiative to acknowledge exceptional contribution made by individuals and institutions, and to celebrate women as game-changers and catalysts of positive change in society.
Its recipients are from fields such as entrepreneurship, agriculture, innovation, social work, education and literature, linguistics, arts and crafts, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), disability rights, merchant navy and wildlife conservation.
Among the awardees is Vanita Jagdeo Borade, the first woman snake rescuer, who founded ‘Soyre Vanchare Multipurpose Foundation’ for nature and wildlife protection and promoting pollution-free environment.
She has rescued and released over 50,000 snakes to their natural habitat. She has also conducted snake awareness programmes that included topics such as first aid for snake bite victims, safety considerations, among others.
Borade is known as “Snake Friend” and the Indian postal department honoured her by releasing a stamp.
Down syndrome affected Kathak Dancer Saylee Nandkishor Agavane, who is also a recipient of the award, has performed in more than 100 events. At the Global Olympiad Dance competition, she received a bronze medal.
She has been awarded for promoting Indian classical dance internationally despite facing hardship.
Visually challenged social activist Tiffany Brar was awarded for her exemplary work for visually impaired rural women.
Organic farmer Ushaben Dineshbhai Vasava was awarded for her outstanding contribution in organic farming and assistance in educating women farmers at the ground level.
Nivruti Rai, country head, Intel-India, has been awarded for excellence in the field of technology, for representing the 21st century women and empowering students to build artificial intelligence enabled a hi-tech future for India.
Shobha Gasti, who started Mahilla Abhivrudhi Mattu Samrakshana Samasthe (MASS) that works in 360 villages across three talukas in Belgaum, Karnataka, has been awarded for her exemplary contribution for the cause of empowerment of women and girls.
Tage Rita Takhe, an entrepreneur who produces ‘Naara Aalba’, India’s first organic kiwi wine, with an annual capacity of approximately 60,000 litres and a turnover of Rs 4.5 crore, was also awarded.
An engineer by qualification, she left her job to become an entrepreneur.
She founded ‘Lambu Subu Food and Beverages’, Naara-Aaba “wine’ in 2016 in Lower Subansiri, Arunachal Pradesh.
Takhe was also awarded the United Nations Women Transforming India Award.
On the eve of International Women’s Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with these awardees and said that the success of government efforts, like vocal for local, is dependent on the contribution of women.
Modi also said that it is important to ensure that all women become part of decision-making at a family level which will follow as a result of their economic empowerment. (PTI)