CHENNAI: While the role of women in society remains fluid and ever evolving, the only constant amid the chaos is the attempts at breaking the boundaries of what is perceived as reality. At the 26th edition of the Devi Awards 2024, held in Chennai, 11 such ‘Devis’ who embody grit, determination and resilience were honoured and their achievements celebrated.
The Devi Awards, conducted by The New Indian Express Group, is about celebrating the success of women who have shaped and reshaped society. The 2024 edition of the awards saw 11 women from various fields, including business and education, receive the applause and appreciation they deserve from a packed crowd.
The Devis received their awards from Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan, Governor of Telangana and Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry, in the presence of Prabhu Chawla, Editorial Director, The New Indian Express (TNIE). Santwana Bhattacharya, Editor, TNIE Group, and Lakshmi Menon, CEO, TNIE, were also present at the event.
The women celebrated at the event were vocalist Aruna Sairam for popularising Carnatic music, Kaviya Kalanithi Maran (executive director of Sun TV Network Limited) for being the force behind the media empire, Dr Priya Abraham (virologist) for her contributions towards the creation of first indigenous Covid-19 vaccine, Annapurni Subramaniam, astrophysicist and director of the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bengaluru, Sharanya Manivannan (writer and illustrator), Shobha Viswanath (publisher and author), Thirupurasundari Sevvel (architect and educator), Srimathy Kesan (SpaceTech pioneer), Uma Prajapati (social entrepreneur), Visalakshi Ramaswamy (traditional crafts revivalist) and Archana Stalin (entrepreneur).
Delivering the welcome speech, Santwana Bhattacharya said, “The Devi Awards are about celebrating the success, grit, creativity, business acumen, innovation and imagination of women from every walk of life.”
She said for a woman to succeed and reach a point where she and her work can be celebrated and awarded, it is not easy. Speaking about feminism, Bhattacharya said, “Feminism and the fight for rights and woman power has gone through and is going through much evaluation and debate. It’s an evolving definition. Someone in the 1990s would have said: Let’s neither be a devi nor a dasi; let’s just be ourselves.” Prabhu Chawla felicitated the governor. Lakshmi Menon concluded the evening with a vote of thanks.