Women achievers honoured with CARE awards

March 7th, 2011 - 7:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Govinda New Delhi, March 7 (IANS) Mountaineer Reena Kaushal Dharmshaktu, international paraplegic sports person Deepa Malik and chess grandmaster Tania Sachdev were among those honoured with “Stree Shakti” awards by CARE India as part of its International Women’s Day celebrations.

The awards were presented Sunday by poet Anamika at Dilli Haat where the international non-profit group had organised a two-day event “Main Shakti Hoon” (I am Powerful) to celebrate the power of women, a CARE statement said Monday.

The organisation, which has been fighting poverty by empowering women for 60 years in India, selected these women for the awards to recognise their achievements in their respective fields on the 100th International Women’s Day Tuesday.

Hundreds of mothers along with their children joined a spontaneous “Dance with Mom” event, giving a festive and inspirational touch to the celebration.

There were cultural performances, street plays, photo exhibition, performances and interactive games centred around women as the theme of power of change.

Award winner Deepa Malik stole the hearts of all when she recited her own verses, summing up her struggle and determination.

She is the first paraplegic woman biker and a car rallyist with three spinal tumour surgeries (183 stitches between shoulder blades) and a paralysed torso for past 11 years.

She was the first sportswoman to represent the country at international level in her category of disability.

Tania Sachdev, holder of international master and grandmaster titles, became the eighth Indian Woman Grandmaster. She won her first international title when she was only eight.

Reena Kaushal was the first Indian woman to take part in the Kaspersky Lab Commonwealth Women’s Antarctic Expedition, skiing 900 km from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole.

Kaushal crossed the Changuch, Kafni and Shallang glaciers and two high-altitude passes. She was the first to ascend Mount Argan Kangri (6,789 metres) in the Karakoram range of Ladakh in July 2003.

Besides the big names, CARE also honoured women from the villages who contributed to the upliftment of their surroundings.

Govinda Amma and Usha of Tamil Nadu represented a small but powerful revolution that swept the Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu after the tsunami of 2005.

The women helped the villagers cultivate crab and grow cashew for a living; changing their economy in the process with an economic model that drew quick returns with the help of CARE.

Aarti and Agam from Uttar Pradesh, aged 14, inspired girls to enrol in the Udaan education programme by CARE and brought students back to school.

Deepaben and Kamlaben of Kutch Livelihood Education Advancement Programme in western Gujarat reached out to women in their conservative community to help them find livelihood.

Kamlaben, who came to the capital to collect the award, “travelled for the first time on a train to reach Delhi”.

Renu Mishra, a 26-year-old social worker from Jagdishpur in Rae Bareli district, who has been empowering women with counselling and Chaman Bano, a woman village ‘pradhan (head)’ from Ramnagar district in Uttar Pradesh were also awarded.

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