Zee Astitva Awards 2006 hails work of women in diverse fields

MUMBAI: Zee Telefilms Ltd and the Archana Trust Suburban hosted the Zee Astitva Awards on 5 August 2006 to honour the achievements of women in diverse fields. Specific to our country, where every girl has to struggle to make her mark, here are some inspirational stories that truly deserve to be honoured.

The show was kicked off with the lighting of the inaugural lamp by Zee Telefilms Ltd chairman Subhash Chandra Goel and chairperson Archana Suburban Trust Rajashree Birla along with other trustees.

The Chief Guest for the evening was (politician) Praful Patel setting the mood for the evening saying, “In an era where women’s achievements have equalled or surpassed that of men, it is truly a remarkable moment in our country that women are being able to overcome that hurdle. It is time for us to work together collectively for the betterment of our country.”

In an award show where the ladies ruled, performances included three of Zee’s Lil Champs, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa’s Twinkle and Sanchali, the Kasam Se sisters, Koena Mitra and Rimi Sen. There was also a special performance by lyricist, instrumentalist and ‘wonder tabla girl’ Tina Sugandh, but before the night was over the sizzling Bipasha Basu got the crowd grooving to her latest item number “Beedi” from Omkara.

Awards were given out to women achievers in categories including social sciences, business, science and technology, health care, music fine arts, dance, sports and theatre among others. The hosts for the evening were Roshini Chopra and Ram Kapoor. However, chief guest Delhi chief minister Sheila Dixit was not present.

Chess grandmaster Koneru Humpi accepts her award
Each awardee has performed exemplary work in their respective fields, some of which goes unnoticed and therefore, the awards provided a platform to not only reward these courageous souls but also to inspire others. Starting the show, Nita Ambani presented the award for classical dance to Vyjayanthi Kashi while the awards for contemporary dance went to Tilottamma Koshy, who could not be present. In recognition of her contribution to drama, Veenapani Chawla was honoured in the area of theatre, while Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia stepped on to stage to give away to the award to Arpana Kaur for fine arts.

Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma presents Shubha Mudghal with her award for music This was followed by awards given to Mini Menon for constructive journalism, Hasina Khan for social services, Dr Shobha R. Arole for healthcare, Dr Amrita Patel for business, Dr Firuza Parikh for science and technology. The authors award was given to Sivashankari and for sports, to chess champ Koneru Humpi. Of course in the music category, Shubha Mudghal was delighted on receiving the award from Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma.

Dr Vishakha Desai and Zerbanoo Gifford were honoured with the International Women of the Year award. The Lifetime Achievement awards were presented by Karisma Kapoor and Kumar Mangalam Birla to Mahasweta Devi, Ela Ramesh Bhatt and Dhondutai Kulkarni.

All the awardees stand tall
In addition, the Stellar Achievement Award was presented to three awardees, while awards for Outstanding Contribution to television, fashion and cinema were given to veteran TV actor Nina Gupta, model Dipika Padukone and Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai respectively. Aishwarya however was not present to receive it due to her father’s illness.

The jury for the Awards included Rajashree Birla, Nita Ambani, Chanda Kochhar, Shreyashi Goenka, Sangita Jindal, Satya Saran, Anaya Goenka and Pheroza Godrej.

Besides representatives from Zee, like Zee CEO Pradeep Guha, Zee executive VP network sales Joy Chakraborthy and the Kasam Se and Sath Phere cast members, also present were FCB Ulka’s Parameswaran, Anil Kapoor and Kishan Premnarayan.

The Zee Astitva Awards will be telecast on 19 August.

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