MUMBAI: The Sunday Standard on Wednesday awarded women achievers from all walks of life in the Mumbai edition of the Devi Awards — Women’s Awards for Dynamism and Innovation. The awards were handed out by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. The awardees included conservation architect Abha Narain Lambah, pole artiste Aarifa Bhinderwala, Actor Bhumi Pednekar, educationist Deepali Gogate, entrepreneur Falguni Nayar, city chronicler Karishma Mehta, social activist Prema Gopalan, shooter Rahi Sarnobhat, policewoman Rekha Mishra and singer Rekha Bhardwaj.
Receiving her award for ‘promoting women’s entrepreneurship and leadership’, Prema Gopalan, founder and executive director of Swayam Shikshan Prayog (SSP), said, “My biggest inspiration was the massive earthquake of 1993 in Marathwada. I and my small team believed we could empower the victims of the earthquake, especially women, to rebuild some 200,000 houses. Since 2015, we have been empowering over 45,000 women to fight droughts...”
Receiving her award, Bhumi Pednekar said, “When I did my debut film Dum Lage Ke Haisha, I felt I was as pretty as I am now... I believe how you feel internally is how the world is going to perceive you.”
Community and tribal educationist Deepali Gogate said, “In the last one year, more than hundred children from the village I work at documented around 50 species of birds.... We often regard them as illiterates when in fact, they are thoroughly aware and knowledgeable. The real purpose of education is to awaken self-respect and self-realisation.”
Singer Rekha Bhardwaj said, “...I consider sufism a way of life. All religions converge at a universal level... It is this universality that I continue to explore...”