President of India Presents CII Foundation WEA 2017
The President of India, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, presented three grassroots women leaders, Ms Jayamma Bandari, Ms Manika Majumdar and Ms Kamal Kumbhar with the CII Foundation Woman Exemplar Award 2017 for their significant contribution in the fields of education, health and micro-enterprise respectively on 27th April at the CII Exclusive Award Session held in New Delhi.
Ms Jayamma Bandari received the Award for her courage and contribution in redefining the purpose of education in Telangana. Orphaned at the age of 3, Jayamma dropped out of school due to poverty. Later, domestic violence forced her to earn through sex work. She fought against all odds to set up Chaithanya Mahila Mandali (CMM), an NGO dedicated to empower women and, protect children of sex workers from harassment, trafficking & sexual abuse and ensure their formal education. Jayamma works actively with over 4000 women in sex work and connects them to child care facilities, child protection schemes, skill trainings and alternative livelihoods.
Ms Manika Majumdar was conferred with the Award for her compassion and missionary zeal in fighting against the taboo associated with mental illness in Kolkata. Despite poverty, family violence and discontinued education, Manika became West Bengal’s first trained barefoot community mental health counselor. In partnership with local urban bodies, she and her team from Anjali, a Kolkata based NGO, run a community mental health kiosk, to provide de-stigmatized, accessible and affordable mental health care to socially excluded individuals and families across 35 municipal wards.
Ms Kamal Kumbhar received the award for her strong conviction and passion in transforming the lives of women through entrepreneurship in Maharashtra. Daughter of a daily-wage laborer, Kamal walked out of poverty and a failed marriage to set up Kamal Poultry and Ekta Sakhi Producer Company. Her ventures have enabled 3000 women to run successful poultry farms, doubling their households’ incomes in the drought – prone region of Osmanabad, Maharashtra. A serial entrepreneur, Kamal today owns six different businesses and is a role model business leader.
Now in its 13th edition, the CII Foundation Woman Exemplar Program continues to recognize and celebrate the journey of grassroots women leaders for their extraordinary courage, conviction and contribution in transforming their lives and that of others. Each year, 3 such social transformers join the league of CII Foundation Women Exemplars who have battled social injustice, stigma, poverty, illiteracy and exploitation, to triumph and further ignite the spirit of empowerment in others. Since its inception in 2005, 38 such exemplary women from across the country have been recognized and further empowered.
Selected by an eminent panel from Industry and social sector, the awardees were shortlisted by a due-diligence partner from over 170 nominations received from NGOs across 26 states.
As part of the initiative, the CII Foundation organized a Capacity Building workshop for the finalists of program on 25th and 26th April 2017 in Delhi, to understand their future plans, areas of support and provide opportunity to interact with industry members. The platform aimed at celebrating the Women Exemplar Collective with industry leaders, and to spur dynamic learning and exchange among the women change makers.