New Delhi: A lady mason, a centenarian athlete, Jharkhand’s lady Tarzan and a “mushroom mahila” were among the 15 women awarded the Nari Shakti Puraskar by President Ram Nath Kovind for their contribution in acting as game changers and catalyst of positive change in the society.
The government confers the Nari Shakti Puraskar every year to recognise the relentless service of women towards the cause of women empowerment and social welfare.
Bina Devi, fondly known as ‘Mushroom Mahila’ for popularizing mushroom cultivation, was one of the awardees.
Another awardee was 103-year-old Mann Kaur. Known as ‘Miracle from Chandigarh’, Kaur started her athletic career at the age of 93.
The award was also conferred on Kalavati Devi, a 58-year-old lady mason, who acted as a driving force towards reducing open defecation in the district of Kanpur.
She is responsible for building over 4,000 toilets in villages in and around Kanpur and has gone door to door to create awareness about the ills of open defecation.
Arifa Jan, 33, was awarded for reviving the lost Kashmiri art of Numdha handicrafts and has trained more than 100 women in Kashmir.
Chami Murmu, 47, fondly known as the ‘Lady Tarzan’ of Jharkhand, has been involved in planting of more than 25 lakh trees with the Forest Department and mobilising more than 3,000 women. She has actively worked towards protecting local wildlife by saving forests from timber mafia and Naxalites.
Nilza Wangmo, 40 is an entrepreneur, running Alchi Kitchen Restaurant, the first one to serve traditional Ladakhi cuisines including some exquisite and forgotten recipes. She has trained 20 women from remote areas of Ladakh who manage the restaurant and has represented Ladakhi recipes in 5-star hotels in India.