Nari Shakti Puraskar 2017

Ms Jayamma BandariMs. JayammaBhandari has been working for over 20 years to rehabilitate sex workers. She has founded Chaithanya Mahila Mandali and rehabilitated over 1000 sex workers and supports around 3500 other sex workers. Over 3500 children of sex workers have been provided vocational training through her efforts.
Ms. K SyamalakumariThe first known female temple Mural Artist in Kerala she has painted, preserved and restored traditional Mural Art in the temples of Kerala.
VanastreeVanastree is a women-run seed saving collective in the Malnad region of the Western Ghats in Southern India. It is working in 15 villages and promotes forest biodiversity and food security through conservation of traditional seeds.
Ms. Gargi GuptaShe founded ‘Voice of World’ NGO in 1992, which works for visually impaired and differently-abled orphaned children in Eastern India. She has set up a Home in Rishra, West Bengal for visually challenged women pursuing higher education. It is the only privately run facility of its kind.
Dr. Sindhutai SapkalShe was married off at the age of 10 to a cowherd. When she was thrown out of her house with a newborn girl child, she decided to raise orphans as the mission of her life. She has set up 5 large homes across Maharashtra for her orphans by raising money through public lectures and private donation, the largest of which in Hadapsar Pune has 300 orphans in it. Known as the Mother of Orphans, this social activist’s adopted children are now lawyers, doctors and engineers.
Beti Zindabad BakeryIn first of its kind, Chhattisgarh government has come up with a unique initiative of setting-up a bakery unit for survivors of human trafficking, as its pilot project under flagship of ‘Beti Zindabad’ campaign in Pathalgaon, Jashpur. Trafficked enslaved tribal girls recovered from all over India were given a bakery unit opened with collaboration with district administration to prevent them from ever being victimized again. The idea was conceived by Jashpur collector Priyanka Shukla who arranged for the training of the girls in Pune, gave them a place and machinery.
Ms. Sabarmatee TikiShe is a scholar, conservationist and founder of Sambhav, an NGO that runs large organic and training farms near Bhubaneswar in Odisha. She works with local communities for the restoration of forests and regeneration of wasteland. She has converted 90 acres of barren land into jungles and has conserved and increased production of 452 indigenous variety of rice. She is the only scholar who has studied the effects of hard manual labour on the bodies of women who work in the rice fields and has adopted and promoted a method called SRI which is less painful for women who do field work.
Ms. Mittal PatelShe is the founder of Vicharta Samuday Samarthan Manch (VSSM) in Ahmedabad. It was due to her relentless advocacy since 2005 that 28 nomadic tribes and 12 de-notified tribes of Gujarat received their identity as Indian citizens. Through her organization, she is working to give these marginalized groups a social identity, citizens' rights, education, health facilities and livelihood options.
Dr. S. Siva SathyaShe developed a mobile app, MITRA (Mobile Initiated Tracking & Rescue Application) in 2015 which is a customized SOS application for the Puducherry region. The app is now being used by Puducherry Police since 2016. If a user finds herself in an emergency situation, she can long press the audio button of her mobile and her GPS location will be sent to the nearest police station along with a detailed SMS to her registered friends including number of the nearest police station for follow up. Even if the person is on the move, MITRA will automatically update the GPS location after 5 and 10 minutes. The app does not even require an internet connection to work.
Dr. Lizymol Philipose PamadykandathilShe is a scientist with three decades of experience in the field of polymers and biomaterials. One of her major breakthroughs has been the development of a novel Bioactive bone cement, which is set to replace existing materials due to its excellent performance. This material is ideal for bone graft, bone filling and osteoporosis treatment. It is also a cost-effective alternative to expensive materials for dental treatment being imported from abroad.
Ms. Chirom IndiraShe is a handloom entrepreneur and social worker based in Imphal, Manipur. In 2015, she became the first Indian recipient of the National Award in Design Development of Handloom Products. Under the label ‘Chanu Creations’, she has worked to promote Manipuri handloom products and the women who produce them, across national and international markets. She provides training to local women weavers in designing with advanced technique of Jala weaving. She has trained over 8,000 weavers under the PM Kaushal Vikas Yojana in 2016-17. Her vivid range of creations has been displayed at National & International fora.
Ms. Urmila Balawant ApteShe is an advocate of women’s rights and has spent decades working for the cause of gender equality. She founded the Bhartiya Stree Shakti in 1988 where she worked to eradicate discrimination at all levels and recognize women's contribution to the family and nation-building.
Ms. Deepika KundajiShe is a conservationist who has done pioneering work in Auroville, north of Puducherry. In 1994, she started working on 6 acres of severely eroded land. She ‘created’ the soil for this barren land themselves by recycling vegetation. After years of effort, today this piece of land is a vibrant forest of indigenous trees with eleven water bodies, a fruit tree area and a garden. This aptly named ‘Pebble Garden’ is now integral to the area as it has helped revive wildlife and uplift the local ecosystem. She produces seeds of hardy varieties of vegetables, root crops and medicinal and herbal plants which require very little water to be grown, and distributes these across the country.
Ms. Purnima BarmanShe is a wildlife biologist who has been making tremendous efforts to protect an endangered stork called hargilla. Around 1,200 of these birds remain today and about 800 of them reside in Assam. Ms. Barman has mobilized an army of hargilla supporters, bringing together 14 women’s self help groups to protect the birds.
Dr. Anita BharadwajShe is the Joint Medical Director of Six Sigma High Altitude Medical Rescue Services. Since 2009, she has been supervising and conducting medical rescue operations at high altitudes. With 88 doctors, para-medicals and social workers, the team has undertaken rescue operations during the Uttarakhand Flood, Nepal Earthquake and Shri Amarnath Yatra. Her team operates from the height of 24,500 feet and has been successful in saving the lives of 5600 women and children, till date. They have also provided treatment to 53,889 victims on high altitudes.
Dr. Bharti KashyapShe has founded an eye-care hospital in Ranchi which conducts free eye camps for children in Jharkhand where she has screened 17 lakh school children so far. Besides this, she has also organized medical camps to screen women and girls for cervical cancer. It is because of her efforts that lakhs of women and children were able to get an early diagnosis of their medical problems.
Ms Ambica BeriShe has singlehandedly established Art Ichol, India’s only permanent creative retreat for artists, writer and sculptors in Ichal, a small village 140 km from Khajuraho (Madhya Pradesh). She has restored the house of Baba Allauddin Khan, the legendary sarod player who lived in the nearby town Maihar. Artists and students from all over the world come to this retreat and teach the local villagers different and new forms of art.
Ms. Gauri MaulekhiHailing from Dehradun, her work in the field of animal welfare started with stopping animal sacrifice in Uttarakhand which she achieved through legal activism, public awareness and working with religious organizations & government authorities. She has been the key person to get world’s largest mass religious slaughter of animals stopped at Gadhimai in Nepal. During the Kedarnath floods, she led a small group to evacuate more than 6,000 animals from the disaster region. This later led to inclusion of animal welfare in the National Disaster Management Policy. She has been instrumental in stopping illegal wildlife trade in the Sonepur Animal Fair which is the largest market of its kind in Asia.
Aranya NaturalsBased in Munnar, it seeks to preserve a unique repository of community heritage. Set up in 1994, they have been working for 20 years to produce non toxic natural dyes based on nature’s discards – fallen leaves, flowers, seeds, nuts, tea and coffee waste. Aranya holds exhibitions and workshops all over India and abroad and are often taught and consulted by national and international professionals in dyes. All the waste of the dyeing process is recycled into a gardening project.
Ms. Pushpa GirimajiShe is India’s best known journalist on consumer affairs. As a consumer safety advocate, she has been responsible for bringing the consumer movement to media attention in India. She played a pivotal role in bringing about the Consumer Protection Act of 1986. She is a consumer rights columnist in leading dailies for the past 42 years who has been addressing queries on common consumer problems.
AVANI OrganisationStarted by Rashmi Bharati and Rajneesh Jain in 1997, Avani in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, is a community built on the principles of sustainability and community-centric rural development programs. Avani is constantly developing new approaches to sustainable, conservation-based livelihood generation for rural communities using traditional crafts and knowledge. The cornerstones of their work are environmental conservation, women's empowerment, fair trade and preservation of traditional knowledge.
SrujanFounded by Mrs Chanda Shroff in 1969 in Kutch it has over 3500 embroidery craftswomen spread over a hundred and twenty villages and 12 different communities. The Srujan team ensures that the fabrics and threads reach them at their doorstep. The women do not have to pay for the materials and are paid as soon as they have completed the embroidery which is turned into high — quality apparel, accessories and lifestyle products, and marketed through shops and Shrujan exhibitions.
Dr. C.K. DurgaShe has contributed immensely in the field of women's health through her extensive research on Breast Cancer. Dr. Durga developed a path-breaking technique in Breast Cancer Surgery, wherein the cancer is surgically removed and a new breast is constructed simultaneously using the native tissue of the patient herself. This technique has been accepted by breast cancer surgeons across the globe.
Ms. Rekha MishraShe joined the Railway Protection Force in 2015 and has single-handedly rescued 953 runaway/ lost/ trafficked children from ChhatrapatiShivaji Terminus (CST) Railway Station in Mumbai. The children rescued by her are primarily those who have been kidnapped and brought to Mumbai for child labour. Ms. Mishra has successfully reunited them with their parents after ensuring their adequate counseling at child-care homes.
Ms. Thinlas ChorolShe founded the Ladakhi Women’s Travel Company at the age of 29 and it is the first women owned and operated company in Ladakh. Today her company has 30 women employees who ensure that no garbage is left on their treks and the environmental impact minimized. Trekkers make halts at home stays run by rural women. Thinlas has also set up a women’s welfare network for women in distress, writes tirelessly about social and environmental issues, has won medals at the National Ice Hockey Championships and trains women to be professional trekking guides across Ladakh.
Ms. Mehvish MushtaqShe has the distinction of developing the first-ever Android application for Kashmir called ‘Dial Kashmir’. The app provides detailed information of essential addresses, phone numbers and email addresses of services, government and non-government organisations and individuals in Kashmir. It also has features like ‘Find Pin Code’, ‘Railway Timings’ etc. The app contains over 500 contacts of government departments, commercial services and private numbers.
Karuna Society for Animals and NatureFounded in 2000 by Clementein Pauws Koenegras from Belgium. She has also built a hospital and shelter in Anantapur district. It is a registered non-profit organization working for animal welfare and the environment by providing free medical care and shelter for sick, injured, abandoned and abused animals. They receive wildlife animals from the forest departments of all the neighboring districts and presently have 6 sloth bears, 4 deer, 8 peafowl and 11 disabled bonnet macaques in lifetime care and are now building a wildlife hospital shelter near the reserved forests. Clementein has taken Indian Nationality.
Navika Sagar Parikrama - INSV Tarini TeamThe team consists of Lt. Cdr Vartika Joshi, Lt. Cdr Pratibha Jamwal, Lt. Cdr Patarpalli Swathi, Lt. Aishwarya Bodapatti, Lt. SH Vijaya Devi, Lt. Payal Gupta from Indian Navy which is circumnavigating the globe.
One Stop CentreOne Stop Centre (OSC) 'Sakhi' at Raipur, Chhattisgarh, provides 24x7 integrated services to women affected by violence, under one roof. About 1,840 women have availed services at the centre, till date. The cases are registered on an 'Auto-system software' and audio-recording is done automatically. Medical, legal and police assistance, and psycho-social counseling services are provided at the centre. All types of cases like dowry harassment, domestic violence, property dispute, personal dispute, molestation, pension row, cheating, stalking etc. are suitably redressed at the OSC.
Millet Network of IndiaNational Millet Sister Network is a first of its kind group launched by 100 women from nine states to provide knowledge to women in the area of millet farming. Set up eight years ago in league with the Millet Network of India, over 5,000 women from across the country are part of this network that enhances the cultivation of millet crops and increases the production and use of natural fertilizers like farmyard manure, vermi-compost and panchgavya which they produce, use and sell.
State of PunjabIn Punjab, as per the data received from the Health Management Information System for 2015-16 to 2016-17, in the selected 20 districts, remarkable progress has been seen in the percentage of institutional deliveries. The Sex Ratio at Birth has shown an improving trend in 14 districts. In Tarn district, 'menstrual hygiene management' was promoted in all the sub-divisions of the district during Children’s Day. The BBBP logo has been affixed on all the official letters and name plates of girls 'Ghar Ki Pehchan Beti Ke Naam' has also been initiated outsides houses in Tarn Taran district. The district has launched VIP cards for parents of 'only girl child'. The card entitles couples to preferential services at all Government Offices in Barnala district.
Ms. Madhu JainShe is a craft and textile revivalist Textile who has been working for thirty years to revive ikat techniques and bamboo fibres. She was instrumental in reviving the Naksha – Kantha embroideries and Dacca Muslim in collaboration with Brac in Bangladesh. She has now innovated bamboo-silk ikat, a weave of bamboo with khadi, cotton, chanderi or wool. It took 15 years to develop and provides livelihood options to bamboo growers.
Ms. Jetsun PemaShe has dedicated her life for Tibetan refugee children since 1964. With the assistance of the Government of India and other philanthropic organizations, Ms. Pema established a total of 10 residential schools, 17 day schools, 3 vocational training institutes, 3 hostels for college students and 1 college spread across India. So far, 52,000 students have graduated from her institutions, of which 50 per cent are Tibetan refugees. Apart from Tibetan children, her institutions also impart education to children from the Himalayan regions.
Dr. M.S. SunilA retired zoology teacher in Pathanamthitta, she she has built 83 homes for poor and destitute people. Each home has an area of 450 sq. ft. with one bedroom, a hall, kitchen and a toilet. The roof is made of galvanized iron sheets. The average time required to build these homes is 35 days. Sunil builds with small donations that she now gets through the post. Her house in Azhor village is aptly named Kripa and anyone can come for help – provided they are asking for someone else. The miracle is that she has no organisation but she continues to give solar lamps, wheelchairs to marginalised people, spectacles, school stationary to needy children, help people with emergency operations and find people small employment. She exemplifies the Power of One.
Ms. Sheela BalajiShe is the Chairperson and Managing Trustee of NGO named AIM for Seva. She has tried to bring back the varieties of rice which are no longer grown. She started a festival of grains in Manjakkudi village in 2013. She started with just four varieties of rice and within four years, she has preserved nearly 30 varieties. She started a store, Spirit of the Earth in Chennai which stocks these varieties of rice. In order to retain the essential nutrient value, the rice is hand-pounded and semi-polished to retain the husk. The rice packaging has a line drawn map of Manjakkudi and details of the rice and its health benefits. According to the ancient texts each variety has different health benefits ranging from keeping diabetes in check t being antibacterial and sedative, improving memory, raising hemoglobin levels and curing ulcers.
Dr. Malvika IyerShe lost her hands to a freak bomb explosion in Bikaner. She also sustained multiple fractures on her legs and nerve paralysis. In two years she had multiple surgeries and it took her several years to walk again. Today she is a Ph.D. Scholar with an M.Phil in Social Work, an international motivational speaker and a disability rights activity. She is also a high fashion model. In 2013 she hosted the India Inclusion Summit. She travels all over the world to talk about the stigmatization of people with disabilities, has given TED talks on the importance of inclusion and in 2017 co-chaired the World Economic Forum's India Economic Summit. She has become a part of the United Nations Inter agency Network on Youth and Gender Equality.
Ms. Revanna Umadevi NagrajStarting her career as a typist in the Horticulture Department of Karnataka in 1989, she has emerged as the female world champion in billiards. Many discouraged Ms. Umadevi over the years due to her age and humble beginnings, but she never let this affect her confidence. Her dedication to the game led her to her first National Championship in 2002, which she won to the surprise of many. She went on to participate in a number of World Championships in 2003, 2004 and 2011. In 2012, she won the Women's Billiards and Snooker World Championship in UK.
Anuradha Krishnamoorthy and Namrata SundaresanBoth the women of Chennai have founded an enterprise called Kase which produces 20 varieties of unique artisanal cheese. Kase is a social enterprise and is produced by women with disabilities. Both women have unusual backgrounds. Ms Krishnamoorthy is the founder of a BPO that trains people with disabilities. Ms Sundaresan is the founder of a strategic consulting firm for international investment. In a short span Kase has become very popular. The cheese is made from the organic milk of grass fed cows with no preservatives or chemicals of any kind. Even the utensils are cleaned with sea salt and vinegar in boiling water. Kase uses Indian ingredients like mint, chilli, cumin, mango. Kase is expanding into organic markets.
Justice Gita MittalJustice Gita Mittal long recognized that following a universal procedural approach in typical court room trials involving sexual violence on women and children severely impedes equal access to justice. It results in secondary traumatization during trial and further exacerbates their victimization. To address these procedural bottlenecks and institutional barriers, Justice Mittal as a judge of the Delhi High Court spearheaded the Vulnerable Witness Project. It emerged as an unparalleled example of jurisprudential intervention and judicial leadership in which the legal and institutional barriers for access to justice to women were removed.