Niti Aayog felicitated 12 women for their outstanding work for the society on Tuesday evening in New Delhi. It came together with in collaboration with MyGov and the UN to organize the award ceremony. The jury and eminent names like PT Usha, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant and ex-vice chairman Arvind Panagariya, Pooja Thakur, Nirupama Rao and so on who chose the winners for their critical role in empowerment.

Chief Guest Textiles and Information and Broadcast Minister, Smriti Irani  announced the winners. She said, “We look for inspiration in everyday life. These stories of courage must be told across India, in all languages and regions, so that every Indian knows change begins from within.”

Ex-Vice Chairman of Niti Aayog, Dr Arvind Panagariya stressed on the organisation’s focus on women’s development. “NITI Aayog strongly believes in the power of women to contribute towards the development of the country, and we have instituted these awards precisely to recognize these contributions and encourage many more women to step forward,” he said.

“The mafias in my village threatened to kill me but I stood my ground in saving the jungles. And even today, I empower other women and children in the village to save the environment, trees and plants.”- Jamuna Tudu from Jharkhand 

These women help in areas like preventing violence against women, bridging the gender gap in education, providing healthcare. Winners also help in building enterprises for women and promoting inclusion for differently-abled people.

The six winners are Laxmi Agarwal, Saeena Hussain, Kamal Kumbhar, Subasini Mistry, Arunima Sinha and Jamuna Tudu. And the six runner-ups are Rajlakshmi Borthakur, Harshini Kanhekar, Sunita Kamble, Kiran Kanojia, Shreema Modak and Kanika Tekriwal.

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Jamuna shared her story of resilience, how she fought the society to save jungles of eastern Jharkhand. She said, “The mafias in my village threatened to kill me but I stood my ground in saving the jungles. And even today, I empower other women and children in the village to save the environment, trees and plants.”

Launched on International Women’s Day last year, it is the second edition of Women Transforming India Awards. The contest aims to gather lesser known stories of women leading change. MyGov.in ran the contest until 1 June and an extensive outreach campaign supported it to promote equal opportunity among women.

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