Women Empowerment in New India: CGI hosts Nari Shakti Puraskar winner Ruma Devi

The Consulate General of India, New York in collaboration with Rajasthan Association of North America (RANA) hosted Ruma Devi, winner of Nari Shakti Puraskar-2018 at the Consulate on August 18, 2022. The objective behind the program was to showcase ongoing women empowerment efforts in India as part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav. Ruma Devi, a woman artisan from a small village in Thar desert started out in the field of handmade textiles at a very small level. Today, she is working with 30,000 women from the region and is bringing western Rajasthan’s traditional textiles to the world of international fashion. 

Ruma Devi shared the inspirational story of her journey from a small village in Barmer, Rajasthan and the challenges she faced at various steps in the way. The gathering was moved by her story and inspired by her courage, resilience, and determination.  Ruma Devi shared her future plans and requested the diaspora to support traditional Indian crafts by popularizing them in the US.  

Haridas Kotahwala, President of Diwali Celebration Committee of RANA, requested Ruma Devi to revisit the US in November 2022 and promised to support her work amongst the community.  

Speaking on the occasion, Consul General Randhir Jaiswal talked about transformative changes happening in India to empower women such as Beti Bachao – Beti Padhao, Jal Jeevan Mission. The success achieved by Indian women athletes in the recent Commonwealth Games is a testimony to the progress India is making in the field of women empowerment.  

Prem Bhandari, President, Jaipur Foot USA and President RANA spoke of the struggles and achievements of Ruma Devi. He commended her for the work that she is doing at the grassroots to empower women and encouraged her to expand her network to rest of the country and provide a platform to Indian women. He assured her of all the help and support in the US to take her work to members of Indian diaspora and to the wider American society.  

The event included cultural performances by talented members of Indian diaspora. Riya Dadheech performed the traditional Rajasthani Ghoomar dance, whereas Nidhi Ladda performed Bharatnatyam dance. They both received Certificates of Excellence from the Consul General. 

During the event, Dr. Ravi Morarka, who has contributed to the containment of ‘Lumpy Skin Disease’ in certain parts of the country was honored for his work. Members of the diaspora from all walks of life participated in the event.  

Image courtesy of (Image courtesy: India in New York/Facebook)

Share this post