On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2022, President Ram Nath Kovind awarded Dr. Sruti Mohapatra, an eminent disability right & social activist, from Odisha, Bhubaneswar, with the prestigious Nari Shakti Puraskar to acknowledge women’s achievements, their bravery.
The Ministry of Women and Child Development conferred the Nari Shakti Puraskar for the unbeatable service towards the women welfare and empowerment and to celebrate women as equal to every aspect in the society.
President Kovind honored the ‘Nari Shakti Puraskar’ – 2020 and 2021, in a special ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi. The award was presented to 29 outstanding and exceptional women achievers. Twenty-eight awards – (14 each for the Year 2020 and 2021)- were presented to 29 women in recognition of their outstanding work towards empowerment of women in the society, especially to the vulnerable and marginalized. The award remained on hold due to due to extensive situation created by COVID-19 pandemic
Mohapatra initiated ‘Swabhiman’ and ‘SHARE,’ – 2 NGOs working for the upliftment of Divyangjan in Odisha, in 2001. She also formed “Project Anjali” for Divyang children to showcase their talent and other projects for education and self-employment support for Divyangjan. She worked for the passage of the PWD Act in 1996 and the RPWD Act in 2016. She was awarded the Vidya Bhawan Social Service Award in 2013 and the National Young Scientist Award in 1992.
Sharing her experience after felicitation by the President, Sruti said, “I am elated that for the first time, my hard work has been recognized at the national level.”
In a special message to all women that instead of ‘Gender Equality’, women need more ‘Gender Equity‘. She said, ‘Women have some specific needs so if we can guarantee support to them based on their individual needs, it will go a long way in ensuring their safety and well-being. She also stated that there are countless Divyanga ladies in Odisha who continue to struggle with myriad problems, but they can move forward in a self-reliant way if provided with proper education, skill development, easy loan and marketing linkages.