NEW DELHI: Twenty women, who have done exceptional work in their respective fields, were honoured as the first Sunday Standard Devis at an award ceremony held here on Thursday. Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje presented trophies to the woman achievers.
The 20 super-achievers work across disciplines and have probably as much in common as chalk and cheddar - except, when it comes to drive and dedication and in acting as rolemodels for youngsters in their respective professions. Awards were given in fields of law, art, health, business, fashion, adventure, hospitality, policing, architecture and music among others.
Addressing the gathering, Raje said the awardees have worked hard to reach where they are today. However, “while we have been making niche in our areas many like us are suffering and trying hard to break the glass ceiling”. “Among the 1.3 billion people who live in poverty across the world, 70 per cent are women. These women work longer hours but earns much less. For a gender that makes 50 per cent(of the world’s population), it isn’t an equal world... though we are fighting. Human race have to still condition (their minds) to believe in equality of gender,” said Raje while commending The Sunday Standard’s efforts to honour women.
Raje, the first woman Chief Minister of Rajasthan, also talked about the steps taken by her government to bring gender equality in the state. This included reserving 50 per cent seats for women in panchayat elections in the state and starting women police stations.
Lauding the efforts of the award winners, Raje said: “All Devis are wellknown and have really excelled in their respective spheres. Each one of them is a woman of substance with indomitable spirit. They have left their mark in their respective fields (of work).”
Prabhu Chawla, Editorial Director, The New Indian Express and The Sunday Standard, said: “We have made a start by honouring 20 special Devis and through this we are honouring the achievement of all women. Our Devis are transforming the world with the courage of their convictions. For them conviction is not a matter of convenience. They have the power of personality. Women are excelling in their fields and beating men everywhere,” he said, adding that they are ahead of everyone in their chosen fields.
Citing that women in the country have held top constitutional posts from the President to the Prime Minister and Lok Sabha Speaker to Chief Minister, Chawla said that India could progress if women in India do well and they have been doing well. The women were selected through a rating process conducted by the senior editorial team of The Sunday Standard and an independent jury of accomplished citizens. The rating process runs true to the newspaper’s motto of ‘Favour None, Fear None’. Many important dignitaries attended the award ceremony.