MUMBAI: A woman of substance is a woman of power, a woman of positive influence and a woman of meaning. A brainchild of Doordarshan ADG Mukesh Sharma, Sahyadri Hirkani Awards honoured nine distinguished women from across Maharashtra who, with sheer grit and determination, left their stamp in a male-dominated arena and brought the desired social change in the society.
The awards were decided by an independent jury and prominent personality’s viz., Neela Satyanarayan – Retd. State Election Commissioner of Maharashtra, Smita Jaykar – Film & TV personality, Vikram Gokhale – legendary Film & TV Personality, Sunder Chand Thakur – Editor, Navbharat Times Newspaper.
The Nine Hirkani Award recipients during the award ceremony were:
Surekha Dalvi : For over 25 years, land rights activist Surekha Dalvi has been championing the cause of tribal ownership of land in Maharashtra's picturesque Konkan region. A great fighter, Surekha and her activist colleagues taking this cause as a mission work for all over upliftment of the adivasis.
Kalpana Kharade: “A visionary without sight” Kalpana Kharade, inspite of losing her eyesight, pursued academic milestones, a former elementary school teacher with teaching experience in urban BMC and Private schools , has scaled great heights professionally all due to sheer determination and persistence. She is presently Associate Professor, a recognized PHD guide and vice-president of K J Somaiya College of Education, Training and Research.
Malati Waman Joshi: Since last 30 years her institution “Chaitanya Mauli Vishwasta Mandal” developed conductive programs for empowering children and women belonging to the socially and economically marginalized groups. Her project “Sanskar Varg” benefited adolescent children from various oppressed locations. Its activities are closely linked with Study centre (Abhyasika) along with vocational training and are providing various health related services in the form of regular health camp.
Shobha Sakharwade: Hailing from Banaras, Sakharwade work in the social sphere since two decades through the voluntary organization Prakriti. Sakharwade decided to focus on upliftment of women after knowing the three biggest challenges that the women were facing - livelihood, children's education and hindrances created by the society especially in backward areas. She initiated local resource teams which are active in reaching even those women who are not confident enough to ask for help and accordingly, her organization focused on making women self-sustaining by instilling self-confidence in them.
Anuradha Bhosale: A renowned grassroots women’s rights and anti-child labor activist based in Kolhapur. A former child-laborer herself at the age of six, she has spent the past 20 years fighting for the prevention of child exploitation, labor, trafficking, and female infanticide. As founder of the AVANI organization, she has facilitated the rescue of 541 child laborers, provided 5,604 nomadic migrant children and school drop outs the right to health care and education, organized the construction of schools inside the brickyard labor camps and established a residential home for migrant children.
Rajani Limaye: The Founder & Chairperson of Probhodhini Trust, an institution for the welfare of mentally challenged individuals. It functions as a training and rehabilitation center for adult mentally challenged individuals, who get trained for a life they can lead with dignity, making them self sufficient, independent and a productive part of the family and the society. Over 300 students are on roll participating in various activities of projects of the institution.
Neeta Tatke: An expert/ Trainer and PhD in “Sport Psychology”, she has been training girls in Mallakhamb, a traditional Indian sport. Dr. Neeta has represented India at various international platforms and coordinated the 1st German Mallakhamb tour.
Vaishali Ruikar: She is a trained Auxiliary & Midwifery Nurse in Pune. Since last 45 years she has been working each day to reduce the pain of her patients especially by doing those impeccable bed sore dressings. Her dedication to the work keeps her going even today, in-spite of her failing health. In today busy world it has become very difficult to take care of bed ridden patients. Long back in 1994 she gave this a thought and came up with the idea of Patient-care Bureau. She is also a recipient of National Florence Nightingale Awards, 2014.
Rohini Limaye: Started her career as a voluntary social worker for the handicapped and became a professional trained teacher for the deaf. She is the founder trustee of Janikibai Shiukshan Sanstha, Vikas Vidayalaya established in 1966 which educates the deaf students with Proper education while providing suitable hearing aid which is the only remedy for deafness. This sanstha also received the National Award for the “Best school for the Handicapped” at the hands of the president of India in New Delhi.
A special ‘Hirkani Visesh Sanman’ is given every year to a talent for appreciating the work done by a woman in their respective field and this year Urmila Pawar is awarded in this category. She is considered to be one of the most acclaimed Marathi writers representing Dalit culture and gender issues. Her stories resound with her own self definition, which is, a woman, a dalit and a Buddhist. Her Book “Aaidaan” is her own autobiography which is translated in English as “The weave of my life - a Dalit woman's Memoirs'” Her most recent work, Mother Wit, is testimony to her gritty, vivid stories, which are an important part of Indian Dalit Literature, as well as Indian feminist literature.
These Hirakani’s received awards from Anil Wanvari - Editor in Chief - Indian Television Dot Com, Ravindra Awati – President Corporate Affairs - Reliance Industries, Kiran Juneja - Film & TV personality, Bharat Dabholkar –Actor & Director, Mahesh Kothare -Film & TV personality, Aishwarya & Avinash Narkar - Film & TV personality, Kiran Shantaram and many more.
Sahyadri Hirkani Sanman Sohala will telecast on DD Sahayadri Channel on the special occasion of International Women’s Day, Sunday, 8 March 2015 from 4:30 p.m. onwards.