It was a celebration of women power as 20 women from Telangana and Andhra were honoured with the prestigious Devi awards instituted by The New Indian Express at a gala evening on Wednesday at ITC Kakatiya. As women and men cheered, clapped and whistled, the awardees walked up to the stage to receive the awards from Deputy Chief Minister Mahmood Ali. The awards were to be given away by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao but he could not make it as the cabinet meeting stretched into the night.
Speaking on the occasion, The New Indian Express Editorial Director, Prabhu Chawla laid out the raison de etre for the awards: “India is changing. It is no longer political power that is pushing the nation ahead but brain power and entrepreneurship. In this context we decided to honour women as they are the prime moving force in this changing country.”
“India is moving very rapidly. We are now a society where 900 million people have cellphones out of a population of 1.25 billion! And Hyderabad is part of this growth engine which contributes 10 per cent of the business made by IT industry. These awards are a toast to the role women are playing in the new economy,” said Prabhu Chawla.
While congratulating the The New Indian Express’ efforts to encourage women from different walks of life, Deputy Chief Minister Mahmood Ali said that TRS government in Telangana State too was also committed to women’s empowerment.
Ali said that TRS government was encouraging women in a big way in agriculture and in industrial sectors. He explained the recently launched Shaadi Mubarak programme, in which girls get Rs 51,000 at the time of their marriage.
“In distribution of social security pensions - Aasara - women were accorded top priority,” the Deputy Chief Minister said. He said that women would get 50 per cent reservation in the elections of local bodies. He said that the TS government was giving Rs 1 lakh to 10 lakh to those girl students pursuing higher education abroad.
He also explained the steps taken for the safety and security of women in Hyderabad. He said that the government recently launched patrolling vehicles for the security of the women. He thanked The New Indian Express Editorial Director Prabhu Chawla for taking the initiative to honour women achievers from 20 different fields.