President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee was the chief guest at the celebrations to mark the International Women’s Day where he conferred Stree Shakti Puruskar to six illustrious women in recognition of their achievements, here today.
The awardees for the Stree Shakti Puruskar are nominated by state governments, MPs, VIPs and on suo-moto basis, and selected by a national level Screening Committee. There are six awards instituted in the name of women icons of India. Each award carries a cash prize of Rs. 3 lakh and citation. The following are the recipients of the six awards:
1. Smt. Manasi Pradhan from Odisha has been honoured with Rani Lakshmibai Award for the year 2013 for her work in the field of women’s empowerment.
2. Dr. M. Venkaiah from Andhra Pradesh has been honoured with Rani Rudramma Devi Award for the year 2013 for his contribution in the field of women’s health.
3. Mrs. Bina Sheth Lashkari from Maharashtra has been honoured with Mata Jijabai Award for the year 2013 for her achievement in the field of education and training.
4. Mrs. T. Radha K. Prashanti from Andhra Pradesh has been honoured with Kannagi Award for the year 2013 for her achievement in the field of providing support to orphans, visually impaired, handicapped and destitute women.
5. Dr. Vartika Nanda from Delhi has been honoured with Rani Gaidinliu Zeliang Award for the year 2013 for her creating awareness on women’s issues through media.
6. Dr. Seema Sakhare form Maharashtra has been honoured with Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Award for the year 2013 for her contribution in the field of women’s rights, gender issues, legal counselling and institutional support to women and girls.
Speaking at the occasion, the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee said that as housewives, mothers, teachers of India’s future generations, businesswomen at the grassroots and executives in the top echelons of the corporate world, women have, through their individual efforts, made contributions, big and small to build the India of today. As respected professionals in all walks of life, women have, in no less measure, made their mark in the frontiers of science, space exploration and research alike. He made a special mention of the women in agricultural sector. He stated that women in this sector are the mainstay of India’s food security – and also the scores of women workers who toil shoulder to shoulder with men in building, brick by brick, the mighty physical infrastructure of our country.
The President said that new legislations, no matter how well conceived, must be supported by efficient enforcement mechanisms. Legislation, alone, cannot emancipate our women. There is a need for a fundamental re-setting of our mental and moral make-up, our civic sense and our social conduct. We must do all that we can to revive our tradition of according due honour and respect to our mothers and sisters; by doing so we will honour ourselves.
Also present at the occasion were Minister of Women and Child Development, Smt. Krishna Tirath, Smt Syeda Hammed, member Planning Commission, Mrs. Mohini Giri, and other senior officials of the Ministry.