Nari Shakti Puraskar 2016

Nari Shakti Puruskar” is given by Central government to the eminent women and institutions rendering distinguished service to the cause of women especially belonging to the vulnerable and marginalized sections of the society. The award carries a cash award of Rs. 1 lakh and a certificate for individuals and Institutions.
Below is the list of 33 awardees of Nari Shakti Puraskar for the year 2016.

State of Rajasthan:

State of Rajasthan

The State has done lot of exemplary work through several district level interventions to address the issue of declining child sex ratio during the last one year.  The sex ratio at birth has improved from 929 in 2015-16 to 942 (till December, 2016). State government has also declared awards under Mukhbir scheme for giving authentic information of sex selection and conducted several decoy operations to check the menace of sex selection elimination.  Several initiatives have been undertaken by the state like development of Impact software to control sex selective elimination activities, making it mandatory to install GPS system in the sonography machines, establishing 7 special upper CJM Courts for speedy disposal of pending cases under PCPNDT Act.

Chhanv Foundation (Sheroes Café), Delhi:

Chhanv Foundation (Sheroes Café), Delhi:

Sheroes’ Hangout Café is the world’s first café run by female acid attack survivors. It was started in 2015. The cafe was first started in Agra because the large number of acid survivors availability in Agra or nearby places. It now houses a library, art gallery and even an activism center. The project is the brainchild of the Stop Acid Attacks campaign that aimed to work as a bridge between survivors and the society, as most of the victims of this brutal crime, isolated themselves after losing their face.  This campaign began a research to track acid attack cases and compile a data to get the actual situation of survivors, which eventually led to the establishment of Chhanv Foundation in 2014. The foundation stands for acid attacks survivors and against acid attacks in India.

Mizo Hmeichhe Insuihkhawm Pawl (M.H.I.P), Mizoram:

Mizo Hmeichhe Insuihkhawm Pawl (M.H.I.P), Mizoram

Mizo Hmeichhe Insuikhawm Pawl (MHIP) is the biggest women organization in the state of Mizoram. It was established on 6th July 1974.  MHIP, created a cell, which has also been a service provider to give appropriate advice to women affected by various forms of violence such as domestic violence, rape etc. MHIP has also recognized as specialized Adoption Agency by State Government and also runs Free Computer Training Centre exclusively for Women in Aizawl City in collaboration with National Institute of Electronics & Information Technology.

Sadhana Mahila Sangha, Karnataka:

Sadhana Mahila Sangha, Karnataka:

Sadhana Mahila Sangha works towards the dignity and violence free right to life for all street based women workers. It has an empowerment initiative for women in sex work in Bangalore, Karnataka.  The Sangha has been engaged with street sex workers for over 15 years and addresses issues of health, safety and violence against women working in the street.  helping their parents to enhance their livelihood skills, health concerns of women, helping children of sex workers to continue education, preventing early child marriage, offering emotional and legal support, crisis intervention, facilitating negotiated settlements, helping women to enhance their livelihood options and providing shelter to needy women through supportive social organizations and NGOs.

Shikshit Rojgar Kendra Prabandhak Samiti, Rajasthan:


Shikshit Rojgar Kendra Prabandhak Samiti

Shikshit Rojgar Kendra Prabandhak Samiti (SRKPS) was established on 15 August 1987.  Initially the working area of the organization was limited to Jhunjhunu district but later it covered entire Rajasthan. Organization has exclusively promoted girl education, prevented child marriages & fought against dowry practitioners for all these years. SRKPS works in collaboration with a number of national and international organizations for implementing various projects such as the Garv Project, Let Girls be Born, UBR Project as well as a Rath Yatra Campaign to empower communities to realize the need for gender balance in society and eliminate sex selection.

Tripunithura Kathakali Kendram Ladies Troupe, Kerala:

Tripunithura Kathakali Kendram Ladies Troupe, Kerala:

Tripunithura Kathakali Kendram Ladies Troupe was formed in 1975, which was coincidentally the International Year of Women, by a group of immensely talented female artists.  Till then Kathakali was purely male dominated.  It was started by a small group of women from the Cochin Royal Family, and has grown in strength over the years. The troupe started performing at the time when most women were not allowed to perform any art form.

Ms. Amruta Patil, Goa:

Ms. Amruta Patil, Goa:

Ms. Amruta Patil is a writer, painter and India’s first female graphic novelist. Her novel Adi Parva based on the Mahabharat, Puraans and tradition of oral storytellers was selected as one of the year 2012’s best graphic novels by comic book historian Paul Gravett.  Her work has recurring themes which include memento mori, sexuality, myth, sustainable living and the unbroken thread of stories passed down from storyteller to storyteller through the ages.

Ms. Amala Akkineni, Telangana:

Ms. Amala Akkineni, Telangana:

Ms. Amala Akkineni is co-founder and Chairperson of Blue Cross of Hyderabad. Blue Cross has helped over 4,00,000 animals since inception and continues to rescue, treat, re-home hundreds of injured and abused animals every year besides training volunteers and professionals.   In 2015, she was appointed ambassador for the Swachch Bharat Mission by the Ministry of Urban Development, Govt. of India and is an active volunteer. She has had a successful career in Indian cinema completing 50 films as leading lady in five Indian languages.

Ms. Anatta Sonney, Karnataka (Joint Award):  

Ms. Anatta Sonney, Karnataka (Joint Award)

Anatta Sonney is a key member in design and development of Orbit Determination system for Remote Sensing, Communication, Lunar and Interplanetary missions. She did post graduation in Mathematics from Kerala University. She joined ISRO Satellite Centre, Bangalore in 1987 and has been working in Flight Dynamics Group since 1989. At present she is heading LEO and Interplanetary Orbit Dynamics Section of Flight Dynamics Group. She was assigned the responsibility as Project Manager for Orbit Determination of Mangalyaan. She has been playing a major role in orbit estimation of low Earth and communication satellites as well as Lunar and Mars mission, analyzing and improving satellite tracking data quality for the Indian Deep Space Network stations. She also has the credit of determining the orbit of Chandrayaan-1 precisely which is significant for the mission operations and payload data processing. She is recipient of Astronautical Society of India Team award for her contribution towards Mars Orbiter Mission and ISRO Team Excellence award for ‘Chandrayaan-1 Payload Instruments, Science Data center and Mission operations’.

Ms. Anoyara khatun, West Bengal :

Ms. Anoyara khatun, West Bengal

Ms. Anoyara khatun, a survivor of trafficking, works towards the prevention of child marriage, child trafficking, child labour and domestic violence. Since 2007, she has been working with the Dahadia Social Welfare Society. Popularly known as ‘Malala of Bengal’, she has managed to prevent the marriage of 50 minor girls, foiled around 85 attempts of child trafficking and enabled the rescue and reunion of more than 200 children with their families and persuaded 200 dropouts to resume their studies. In the year 2012 she was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize on account of her extraordinary efforts towards prevention of child trafficking and early child marriages in India.

Ms. B. Codanayaguy, Puducherry:

Ms. B. Codanayaguy, Puducherry:

Ms. B.Codanayaguy, as a Group Head of Quality Division of Electronics, Instrumentation & Control Systems in the Systems Reliability Entity is responsible for ensuring the smooth functioning of the Electronics, Instrumentation and Control System related to Solid Motor Production, Flight Motors/articles testing, Liquid propellant storage and servicing facilities at the Launch Complex facilities of Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota. She joined in ISRO in August, 1984 as an Electronics & Instrumentation Engineer.  Her specific contributions for PSLV C37 include all the solid motors for the PSLV C37 launch vehicle- S139, HPS3 and PSOM-XL motors are produced at SDSC SHAR and flight articles have been tested at SMP & ETF for their reliable performance during flight.

Ms. Bano Haralu, Nagaland:

Ms. Bano Haralu, Nagaland

Ms. Bano Haralu is a pioneering television journalist from North- East India. She completed Masters Degree in Mass Communication from Jamia Millia University. She then worked for Doordarshan and New Delhi Television. She pioneered a bird and wildlife survey for the Forest Department leading to the publication of the book on ‘Birds of Nagaland’ and co-ordinated a survey to determine the status of wildlife in eight locations across the state. She formed the Nagaland Wildlife and Biodiversity Conservation Trust in 2013 that focuses on ‘Wildlife Conservation Education’. She has also received the ‘Sanctuary Wildlife Service Award’ in 2016.

Ms. Deepa Mathur Rajasthan:

Ms. Deepa Mathur Rajasthan

Ms. Deepa Mathur founded an NGO named Quality of Life Improvement Society (QUALIS),2008 in to promote artisans and craftsmen working in the State of Rajasthan. QUALIS is associated with 700 artisans and 400 weavers primarily based in Kota, Bundi, Jaipur, Kalwara, Goner and Mundia Ramsar. Ms. Mathur has received a number of awards such as Indira IVF Women Empowerment Award 2016, Zee Women Empowerment Award 2016, Jyoti Vidyapeeth Women Empowerment Award 2015.

Ms. Divya Rawat, Uttarakhand:

Ms. Divya Rawat, Uttarakhand

Ms. Divya Rawat is a social entrepreneur who promotes mushroom cultivation as a means of sustainable livelihood among villages situated in remote areas of Uttarakhand. Her successful business model for production and practical training centre has won many accolades. Popularly known as ‘the Mushroom Lady’, she is the Brand Ambassador of Uttrakhand State Government for Mushroom Promotion.

Dr. Ilse Köhler Rollefson, Rajasthan:

Dr. Ilse Köhler Rollefson, Rajasthan

Dr. Ilse Köhler Rollefson, a veterinarian who arrived in Rajasthan in 1991 for a research project on animal husbandry, has dedicated her life to the Raikas (Rajasthan’s Nomadic Tribe) and camels.  She has set up an NGO called the Lokhit Pashu Palak Sansthan (LPPS) in Pali, Rajasthan.  Today, LPPS helps the Raikas by providing camel veterinary care using both traditional remedies and modern medicine. Even the state and national government officials seek their advice. In 2010, Dr. Rollefson set up Camel Charisma, a micro dairy near Jaisalmer and organized camel yatras to spread awareness among local communities across Rajasthan about what’s happening to their iconic animal.

Ms. Janki Vasant, Gujarat:

Ms. Janki Vasant, Gujarat

Ms. Janki Vasant is a founder of nongovernmental organization Samvedana whose motto is “not just education, but quality education is the right of every child’. Over the past 14 years, she is working with underprivileged communities and rural areas around the city of Ahmedabad. Her interventions are focused towards strengthening the public education system, Infant Nourishment – early care and Skill training to achieve holistic and integrated development of socially and economically deprived children, youth and women.In June, 2016, she planned and initiated ‘Sattva’ a 100 day drive to eradicate malnourishment among children through 76 Anganwadi Centres functioning in the localities of Thaltej, Chandlodiya and Ghatlodiya in the city of Ahmedabad.

Dr. Kalpana Shankar, Tamil Nadu:

Dr. Kalpana Shankar, Tamil Nadu

Dr. Kalpana Shankar is Chairperson & Managing Trustee of Hand in Hand India, an organization working on women SHGs, livelihoods, child labour, strengthening citizen participation and sustainable development through Natural Resource Management and Solid Waste Management. It is active in 17 districts of Tamil Nadu, with projects also in Puducherry, Karnataka and 6 districts of Madhya Pradesh. Women empowerment, skill development and technologies, child labour elimination, health , education and environment are the key pillars of her organization’s work.

Ms. Kalyani Pramod Balakrishnan, Tamil Nadu:

Ms. Kalyani Pramod Balakrishnan, Tamil Nadu

Ms. Kalyani Pramod is a graduate of textile design from NID. She documented the Bedouin craft of the Middle East and bringing new designs and changing the product without changing the craft gave it a new impetus. She worked with the Toda’s of the Nilgiris and motivated them to present their work at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Her desire to work with women who had simple skills had her setup Rhapsody, a company making her designs for illustrated quilts for children, stuffed toys, patchwork quilts in cotton and silk. She has been a guest faculty at NIFT Chennai for many years igniting young minds. Today she works with the very differently-abled children and uses their limited movement.

Ms. Mumtaz Kazi, Maharashtra:

Ms. Mumtaz Kazi, Maharashtra

Ms. Mumtaz Kazi is Asia’s first woman who drives a diesel train.  She drove her first train only at the age of 20 years. With the experience of nearly 20 years she is now serving the most crowded railways. In 1995, her name featured in LIMCA Book of Records as first lady diesel locomotive driver. In the year 2015, she was awarded with Railways General Manager Award.

Dr. Nandita Shah, Tamil Nadu:

Dr. Nandita Shah, Tamil Nadu

Dr. Nandita Shah is a homeopath by profession and founder of Sanctuary for Health and Reconnection to Animals and Nature (SHARAN). SHARAN is a non-profit organization devoted to spreading awareness about holistic health and an ecologically sustainable compassionate lifestyle.  Dr. Nandita Shah conducts workshops and retreats, actively promote a natural, organic healthy nonviolent diet and has already positively impacted the lives of over 20,000 people in India and abroad. SHARAN’s vision is a diabetes free India.

Ms. Pallavi Fauzdar, Delhi:

Ms. Pallavi Fauzdar, Delhi

Ms. Pallavi Fauzdar is an Adventure Motorcyclist. She is the first Motorcyclist in the world to conquer 8 Mountain Passes Above 5000meters altitude in a single trip covering 3500kms of tough mountain terrain of Himachal ,Leh, Ladakh and Kashmir valley.  Her feat has been recognised by Limca Book of world record. She has been the first motorcylist to reach the top of the highest and the toughest mountain pass in the world, The Mana Pass, Uttarakhand at an altitude of 5638meters or 18774 feet. She is also the First Female Rider to reach the highest lake in the world on motorcycle, the Deo Tal at an altitude of 17950 feet above sea level. She has been activily participating in community and rides for various causes such as spreading awareness about malnutrition in children, sex selective elimination and other activities for women empowerment.

Ms. Pamela Malhotra, Karnataka:  

Ms. Pamela Malhotra, Karnataka

Ms. Pamela Gale Malhotra is co-founder of SAI (Save Animals Initiative) Sanctuary. SAI Sanctuary is located in the Kodgu/Coorg District of Karnataka. She along with her husband bought the 55 acres of land and began afforestation work. After 23 years, their unmatched passion for wildlife and nature has helped them in establishing one-of-itskind wildlife sanctuary spread over 300 acres, the only private sanctuary in the country. Her mission has also encompassed the uplifting of women and children especially in remote areas.

Ms. Qamar Dagar, Delhi:

Ms. Qamar Dagar, Delhi

Ms.Qamar Dagar is a professional Pictorial Calligrapher who has been working to orient people around the art of calligraphy. She is the founder Director of Qalamkaari Creative Calligraphy Trust, Delhi and has organized and curated International Calligraphy festivals “Qalam-Aatma” in Delhi and Jaipur. She works in Hindi and Urdu scripts using alphabets/letters as art material giving visual interpretation to a chosen theme.  Her own interpretation of words, themes, expressions and even poetry get reflected in her creations. She has received Women’s International Network award (2012).

Ms. Reema Sathe, Maharashtra:

Ms. Reema Sathe

Ms. Reema Sathe is Founder & Director – Happy Roots Foods & Beverages India Pvt. Ltd., a social enterprise that works on socio economic development and inclusive growth of marginal farmers and rural women in India. She is working in Vidarbha to grow Barley which is never grown in the region and built a complete value chain for supply of processed Barley to Microbreweries in Maharashtra. She has worked on conceptualizing and developing a community poultry farm for tribal women farmers in Maharashtra. Ms. Reema has also briefly served as a UN Volunteer and worked on projects for women empowerment in Africa and child education in India.

Ms. Ringyuichon Vashum, Manipur:

Ms. Ringyuichon Vashum, Manipur

Ms. Ringyuichon Vashum is a Social Activist for Women and Child Rights Issues in Ukhrul District, Manipur. Since 2008 she is serving as Credit Manager for Ukhrul District Women Institute of Micro-credit (UDWIM), an offshoot of IFAD/ NERCORMP Project and an apex body of 745 Women Self Help Groups (SHGs) comprising of more than 130000 illiterate and semi literate members. She has been constantly working for empowering the underprivileged women through micro credit by orienting and monitoring their Income Generating Activities (IGAs). Involved against Child & Women Trafficking she has worked two terms (2007-2013) as Member Secretary, Child Welfare Committee, Ukhrul District Social Welfare Dept., Govt. of Manipur. She has been honored for remarkable work and dedication for Women & Peace Issues in North East India by Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network and Control Foundation of India.

Ms. Sangita Iyer, Kerala:

Ms. Sangita Iyer, Kerala

Ms. Sangita Iyer is a multiple award-winning nature and wildlife journalist, documentary film maker and biologist. She is the Executive Producer & Director of the internationally acclaimed and United Nations nominated documentary “Gods in Shackles” – that reveals the truth behind the glamorous cultural festivals where temple elephants are exploited for profit under the guise of culture and religion.

Ms. Smita Tandi, Chhattisgarh:  

Ms. Smita Tandi, Chhattisgarh

Ms. Smita along with her friends started a group ‘Jeevandeep’in 2015 to provide financial help to poor people in order to enable them to access medical treatment. They collect money through their Facebook page which has 7 lakh followers. In the year 2013, her father died as she did not have enough money to pay for the medical treatment he required. Before collecting money for any person, she visits the person and after due verification issue a plea for collection of money towards medical treatment.

Ms. Sumitra Hazarika, Assam:

Ms. Sumitra Hazarika, Assam

Ms. Sumitra Hazarika is an international medal winner Athlete and President of Mission for Integration, Gender Equalization, Harmony and Fight against Threat (MIGHT).  She has been working in the field of women welfare since 1982 and received many awards for her social work. She has been working for eradication of various social ills viz. child marriage, dowry demand, child labour, child and women trafficking, domestic violence and sexual abuses of women at work place etc.

Ms. Sunita Singh Chocken, Haryana:

Ms. Sunita Singh Chocken, Haryana

Ms. Sunita Singh Chocken is die-hard mountaineer with around 10 years of experience in Mountaineering, Rock climbing and water-sports.  She is the youngest girl of Haryana to have scaled the highest peak, Mt, Everest by 2011. She is also the Brand Ambassador of “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” campaign from district Rewari, Haryana and received Bharat Gaurav Award in 2013.  She is focused to eradicate the “Early Marriage cult” & “Stop Child Marriage” from India.

Ms. Subha Varier, Kerala:

Ms. Subha Varier, Kerala

Ms. Subha Varier. G, a graduate from CET, Trivandrum in Electronics and Communication Engineering joined ISRO in December 1991. She is responsible for developing various onboard systems like Video processing electronics based on JPEG & MPEG, SD & HD Cameras, DSP based Data processing Units for Scientific payloads, Real Time Decision system for Liftoff, different types of onboard data recorders etc. She was instrumental in inducting and globalizing onboard Video Systems in all the ISRO Launch vehicle programmes. A full fledged video system, conceptualised, configured and realized by her, was employed in the mission to confirm the collision free separation of all the satellites in the mission.

Ms. Tiasa Adhya, West Bengal:

Ms. Tiasa Adhya, West Bengal

Ms. Tiasa Adhya is a conservationist; she started the Fishing Cat Project in 2010 to conserve Fishing Cats in the human dominated Howrah district in West Bengal and to mainstream its conservation.  She works with local and national media to highlight the issue of Fishing Cat hunting outside Protected Areas and that of local conservation initiatives. She focuses on creating awareness and engaging the general public in 18 villages to generate Support for Fishing Cat conservation and to address conflict.

Ms. V. Nanammal, Tamil Nadu:

Ms. V. Nanammal, Tamil Nadu

Ms. V. Nanammal is a Nonagenarian (97 year old) yoga enthusiast. Practicing yoga since she was 8, she has mastered more than 50 kinds of asanas. She is an advocate of Naturopathy. Living close to nature and knowing its rhythm keeps her energetic and active. She was recognized in 2003 when she participated in a yoga competition, she has participated in 100 competitions so far. Till now she has won many gold medals and trophies in different competitions. Now, 36 members of her family are yoga practitioners.

Ms. Zuboni Humtsoe, Nagaland:

Ms. Zuboni Humtsoe, Nagaland

Ms. Zuboni Humtsoe founded a company named Preciousmelove (PML) in 2011, through Facebook with an initial capital of Rs. 3500. PML managed by an all-girls team is an online fashion brand selling premium Nagaland designs for women, accessories, vintage clothing and handicrafts. PML promotes talented young models, photographers, stylists, seamstresses, doll-makers and provides them a platform to sell their products and designs. In June 2016, PML launched its own e-commerce website becoming the first fashion e-commerce site from Northeast India managed by an all girls team. The company also conducts ‘Entrepreneurship Training/workshop’ in different rural/urban schools, institutes and colleges.

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