HT Woman 2018: Social work
The award will go to those serving humanity, especially in the rural areas and slums.Updated: Apr 21, 2018 14:30 IST
Social work category-The award will go to those serving humanity, especially in the rural areas and slums.
Know your nominees...
Aarti Singh, Raebareli
Aarti Singh has displayed exemplary devotion towards serving the society. She started her career as a school teacher in Rae Bareli. While working as a teacher, she got acquainted with the challenges of education of poor children. She trained primary and junior school teachers and members of school management committees on right to education and child rights. She has mobilised more than a thousand families for child education in 400 villages of Rae Bareli.
She is also working as a consultant to female adolescents, imparting knowledge on health and hygiene.
Abha Singh, Mumbai
A former civil servant and presently a practicing advocate at the High Court of Judicature at Bombay. Abha is also a social activist who has done considerable work in the realm of women’s rights. She is the president of an NGO Rann Samar where she offers free legal assistance to slum dwellers who have been unfairly persecuted by local authorities and builders.
Her foundation is working in rural areas and provides vocational skills to women and girls for financial inclusion. Her efforts to reform over 200 convicts in UP jails by imparting them vocational skills has been appreciated. Abha has written a book ‘Stree Dasha aur Disha’ which concentrates on women’s legal rights.
Agrimaa Amrata, Rae Bareli
Agrimaa Amrata’s maturity and presence in the face of challenges belies her age of 23. She leads a union of young rural women– ‘Agrimaas’ (torchbearers). Moved by the plight of women while giving birth under unhygienic conditions, Agrimaas have decided to postpone their own marriage and devote two years of their life to the service and care of mothers and babies from rural areas.
Over the last year, Agrimaas have been involved in the care of about 20,000 mothers, and have supported 1,000 mothers in providing Kangaroo Care across public health facilities in Lucknow and Rae Bareli.
Alka Agarwal, Lucknow
When I was appointed as Assistant Teacher in Basic Education, in a rural, I started to teach underprivileged children and help them out. I am also fond of writing poetry and wrote my first book of poems, ‘Mai Aur Meri Kavita’ last year. I formed a group called ‘Badhtey Haath’ whose primary aim is to plant as many trees as possible. I am also associated with various other social groups like Gau Sewa for cows and animals, and various other literary groups.
Tripti Kaur Pahwa, Lucknow
Tripti Kaur Pahwa is an Indian relief mural artist and had keen interest in paintings since childhood. In 2000, she decided to make this hobby her profession by setting up an organisation ‘Kalakriti Creations’.
Tripti does all kind of artworks including sculptures, oil paintings, acrylic paintings, fabric paintings, broken and stain glass paintings. She has recently added jewellery-making to her series of work. However, her most popular work is of relief murals.
Her work can be found in myriad of public and private art collections both in India and abroad.
Alpa Nigam, Tilauli, Gorakhpur
A government school teacher and a social worker by choice, Alpa Nigam works for the underprivileged children and their illiterate parents in the village Tilauli. She imparts free education not only to students but also to their mothers to enable them to support their children. Due to her efforts 140 mothers have become literate out of which eight of them even attended the school with the students there. Alpa work tirelessly to bring the change in the village and convince the parents of child labours to get them admitted in school. Last year, she organised 40 chaupaals in 15 villages for education and Japanese Encephalitis awareness.
Anamika Singh is a social worker who is leaving no stone unturned to work for the people’s welfare.
One day, she came to know that a girl had committed suicide due to alopecia in MP. She formed a community organisation ‘Sakhi Sang’ to organise awareness campaigns on such issues in India.
Sakhi Sang organises awareness campaigns to support alopecians, transgenders and child abuse/labour. It also works for freedom-fighters, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, change the clap campaign for transgenders, providing free legal advice and giving employment to rural women.
Anjali Kesari Allahabad
An artist, writer, motivator and a social worker. Empowers and uplifts the women. Started an NGO with her husband Vishal, ‘Nari Shakti Jagrit Sansthan’. Called it Vishal Sankalp, after he died in an accident. Today, she is active in small dwellings, teaching kids about personal hygiene, cleanliness, health issues, safety awareness as well as environment protection. As part of ‘Mehekne Do’ mission, 300 girls have benefited from the movement. Employed as a teacher in Kendriya Vidyalaya, Allahabad, spends time educating girls and women. Contributes articles in newspapers and magazines, creates awareness on girl’s education and women empowerment.
Mudra Singh, Rae Bareilly
In her effort to empower women socially and physically by providing education, rehabilitation, legal awareness and organising health, legal awareness and government schemes camps Mudra starting working for women and children of rural areas. In small village Deeh, Raebareli district with a population of 600 people she organised legal awareness and health camp where more than 100 women were benefited from the health camp. A sanitary pad distribution drive and a legal awareness camps were also held in many villages and districts. She currently runs non-profit primary school for the underprivileged children.
Neelu Singh Dhakrey, Agra
Position of Innerwheel Club’s district editor, president of Rotary Club of Agra, member of several NGOs such as Akanksha. Identifies problems of hygiene and sanitation.Raised awareness and conducted seminars on personal hygiene, mental health, family planning and period health in Agra District Jail, she gives annmeties to women inmates ever year. Organized various health checkup and eye checkup camps in the villages with Seva Bharti. She’s helped to construct toilet blocks and libraries in government schools. She led the ‘Say No to Polythene’ campaign and distributed 5,000 cloth bags. Installed sanitary-napkin vending machines in degree colleges.
Payal Tiwari, Lucknow
Working on gender based violence, writing, publishing evidence based research, voicing her opinions at forums. Represented India at MASHAV, Israel, discussed the issues of violence against marginalised. Published reports, documented stakeholder response and implemented on ground Domestic Violence Act. Engaged in PM’s vision, ‘cleanliness and sanitation’. Documented women’s access to public toilets in informal settlements in Mumbai, citywide monitoring and evaluation infrastructure under use. Spreads awareness on Swatch Bharat Abhiyan, sanitation issues. Collaborated with private, government, international agencies, works to improve the systems and make cities accessible and safe for women
Preeti Fauzdar, Agra
Dynamic woman with various achievements. A journalist, poet, founder of ‘Yes We Can ‘ welfare society, runs a play school. Works for the upliftment of poor, provides free education. Prevented 120 children from getting into child labour. Adopted a government school at Sevla, built boundary wall, kitchen and a toilet. As a result, attendance of children has risen by four times. Helped an 18-year-old in her treatment of brain tumour, at AIMS Delhi and secured the necessary assistance from authorities. Provides awareness about ‘Good touch and bad touch’ ‘prevention of child marriage’ etc
Priyanka Bhatti, Bulandshahar
Inspiration for the visually challenged who give up hope instead of overcoming their weakness. Priyanka is visually challenged since birth. Completed her Masters degree to become an English trainer. Imparts training to new teachers as well as students in English so that they could improve their language skills. Provided English training in many schools and institutions. Worked with many NGOs to motivate and help other visually challenged people. Bhatti has set up her own NGO ‘ Samarthan Education and Welfare Trust’ with objective to provide ‘ holistic assistance’ to visually and differently challenged people.
Rachna Singh, Agra
President of Aasha Kiran Samriddhi Foundation, Agra, works for the cause of education and women. She started two campaigns – ‘Naari sanrakshan se chuppi todo’ and ‘Swacchta apnao’ – in Agra and distributed sanitary napkins to make people aware about menstruation and personal hygiene.She got 98 children from villages and slums admitted to schools and distributed stationary items at all primary schools of Agra. Rachna educates rural girls about body sanctity and teaches them about good and bad touch.She is contributing for education by herself without asking for any financial help.
Rashmi Singh, Aligarh
Joint secretary of Ashok-Shyama Charitable Trust, Aligarh, works for menstrual hygiene management in Aligarh and other districts of Uttar Pradesh. She gives sessions on menstrual hygiene, analyses students’ knowledge through pre- and post-session questionnaires. Organised a cultural programme ‘Dance your way’ to make society aware about menstruation and celebrate World Menstrual Hygiene. She’s written ‘Wish you happy periods’ on menstruation in Hindi to expand its reach. She has narrated all myths and facts about menstruation in the form of stories. She offers a low cost variant ‘Meri Sakhi’ of sanitary pads.
Rekha Sinha, Lucknow
Secretary of NGO Rekhaakriti, she works to protect the culture and heritage of Uttar Pradesh through handicraft. Adopts handmade product culture, involves women power in handicraft sector, promotes the socio-economic conditions of artisans. Organizes exhibitions and sale points in India and abroad, displaying products of the art and artisans of UP. Incorporated more than 250 artisans from around six districts of UP and taught them designs and recent trends and developments. She worked for conservation and documentation of the wooden toys of Varanasi and moonj art of rural parts of UP.
Anju Panday, Meerut
Educated and motivated, children of slums. Wish to send every underprivileged child to school. Started counselling their mothers, got many of them to give up habits like chewing tobacco, drinking and having intoxicants. Conducted day to day classes for them. Proud to be one of the change makers who made thousands of lives, better. Helped youngsters get free of addiction. Made them realize the disadvantages of it through guidance and education. Atmosphere of peace and love is being created in every house and my work is being appreciated by all.
Anuradha Wadhawan, Lucknow
Gave her son, an idea to open a school with minimum fees and a great infrastructure and boarding facilities. This is how, New Vision School in Jankipuram extension, came up. She herself takes out time to teach the children and solve their problems because most of the students come from a lower class and middle-class background. In spite of continuous challenges coming up, she manages to keep the school running so that the future of the children shines and they can be self-reliant to live their life successfully and respectfully.
Aparna Bisht Yadav, Lucknow
A social activist, Aparna completed her master’s from the University of Manchester. She is married to Prateek Yadav, son of Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav. She contested 2017 assembly elections from Lucknow Cant seat. She runs an organisation B-Aware. She has distributed trees under ‘Green UP - Clean UP Mission’. She spreads awareness among women on self-defence and laws to protect their rights. She is trained in Indian classical and semi-classical music and specialises in ‘thumri’.
Aparna Thakur, Agra
Won a medal in International Martial Arts Championship, awarded 2nd Dan Black Belt. Worked as an International Tour Manager in London. Researched on the social system, religious beliefs, culture, noticed the unequal status of women in India. Returned back, devoted her life to empower women of India. Started “Pink Belt Mission”, aimed to give every woman SELF - strength, confidence, Self-Respect and Esteem. It’s a mission for women to be a “certified self-defender”. She trains on self-defense, nutrition and menstrual hygiene, digital awareness, legal rights, help lines and, good touch and bad touch.
Aradhana Sikarwar, Lucknow
Social worker and deputy secretary of NGO Ummeed. Works for the education of underprivileged, women safety, anti-drugs campaign etc. Has been teaching poor children in Ujarao, Gomti Nagar. Initiated a community policing programme, checks the menace of alcoholism and drugs on the open streets. Launched Gandhigiri campaigns, three illegal wine shops were forced to close down. Trained rural women who helped the police in awareness campaigns. Food and relief material was sent to Nepal in 2015, due to devastation. Help was rendered to Bahraich district, when it was hit by a flood.
Archana Singh, Lucknow
Archana Singh is a social activist and an inspiration to young girls and adolescents who want to break themselves free from stifling patriarchal restrictions.
In her final year of MSW in 2009, she became a part of Breakthrough training programme. She decided to work towards gender equality and empowerment. She joined Breakthrough as a volunteer and then finally as a full-time employee in 2010.
Today, Archana is the training head of adolescent empowerment project of Breakthrough in UP that aims to empower about 4 lakh adolescents. She is a trainer on gender, early marriage and rights issues.
Astha Bhadauriya, Agra
Astha Bhadauriya is working for free education to students from economically weaker sections of the society.
Astha took the initiative of working for the education of underprivileged children to fulfill the dream of her father-in-law, Shaheed Layak Singh Bhadauriya who had martyred in Kargil war.
As many children do not have access to education due to lack of resources, the effects of poverty on children are wide-reaching and can lead to lifelong struggles.
Astha, along with a group of teachers, not only teaches underprivileged children of rural areas but also provides them all necessary help.
Chanchal Gupta, Agra
Young dynamic lawyer, single mother and a home maker. Established Sai Ki Bagiya Trust and Blaster Group. Wanted to make a wholesome difference to the city. As social activist, been part of clubs and organizations. Event management company ‘Blaster Group’ holds prestigious competitions like ‘Mr and Miss Kohinoor e Taj’. It Imparts free grooming sessions to contestants. I have an undying spirit to continuously do something socially useful like my ‘Save the Girl Child Campaign’ which I align with each of my new events. Appointed, director of UP, believe in the motto- live and let live.
Aanandana Garg, Agra
She has participated in Mrs India contest and won two sub-titles Mrs India Splendid Star West and Mrs India Remarkable West, at the semi-finals in May 2017. She was crowned at the finale with a title of Mrs. India Splendid Star at Chennai.
She has been associated with awareness sessions for women on, cancer, thyroid, diabetes and other issues. Aanandana has also worked with a cancer awareness programme for the women of Inner Wheel Club by Dr Geeta Agrawal. She has conducted several programmes on the importance of hand wash, hygiene, sanitation, self-defence, education to women and girls from all walks of life.
Sabika Abbas, Lucknow
Founder of Sar-e-Rahguzar: Poetry on the Streets, involves subverting public spaces through poetry with social issues related to gender, Dalit rights, etc. Performed her poems like Meri Sari, Meri Bindi, and Kaaal, iconic for the younger generation of feminists. Founder member of Pinjra tod movement, she challenges discrimination faced by women in university spaces. Took up challenging issues like locking up of girls in hostels and facilities in girls hostels. She is working to devise pedagogies for urban education interventions which involve a deep insight to make teaching and school environments gender sensitive.
Sapna Upadhayay, Lucknow
Works for cancer patients specially kids and their families. She has been associated with ECWF, a non-government aided organisation, devoted to the and welfare of underprivileged children suffering from cancer, helped 4000 such children. Keeping in mind, their financial status, Sapna has been instrumental in providing children with medicines and helped them undergo treatment. She provides ration to families of children, suffering from cancer. Helped the families with ration. Empowers mothers and needy women by getting them trained in designing handmade paper jewelry, envelopes, recycled cloth bags, jute bags and more.
Shipra Massey, Gorakhpur
Rag pickers, daily wagers and house maids living in slums, were not aware of healthy menstrual practices until Shipra Massey, spread awareness. She distributed free sanitary napkins to them.
Shipra runs an NGO Jan Jagriti Sanstha making slum dwellers self-dependent by imparting free training on sewing, pickles and jam making. Over 85% women, including socially marginalised Mushars community and villagers in Gorakhpur, do not use sanitary pads and are depended on old cloth pieces or other harmful stuff during menstruation. Her organization helps them out and also works for organising marriages of underprivileged girls.
Shweta Rastogi, Lucknow
She works for a beauty centre in India, Yuva Skin and Laser Centre, which offers state-of-the-art laser and cosmetology treatments. Working with shine culture project, she promotes culture in youth through her foundation, free of cost. Her belief that everyone should receive affordable quality beauty treatments with internationally approved protocols, earned her a prestigious opportunity to be a part of an exclusive team at Yuva. She feeds the hungry, clothes the cold and offers alms to the impoverished. She aims to be the heroin to the hopeless, marginalized and underprivileged of the society.
Shweta Singh, Lucknow
Assistance teacher, with philanthropy and social service as my goal. In charge of Lucknow unit of “Kavyashree Seva Sansthan”, working for social development. Bringing back the students who had to abandon their studies due to various issues. I provide sweaters, copies and books to the students by setting up camps for them and spending the revenue to educate students who can no longer pursue their studies. I spread awareness about personal and public hygiene through women’s awareness camps. I contribute to Beti padhao Beti bachao, sanitation campaign, under the aegis of “Kavyashree Seva Sansthan”.
A resident of Rajaram Tand karikot village under Nishangara forest range of the KWS was serving dinner when a leopard attacked her daughter Laxmi on October 16, 2011. Listening to the screams, Sunita jumped on the leopard to save her daughter. She fought with the leopard with a stick for 20 minutes. Yogi Adityanath awarded her Rani Laxmi Bai Bravery award. Sunita said she could even fight with the Yamraj to save her daughter. Working as a sanitary employee Sunita is a role model for many people in her area.
Tulika Kapoor, Lucknow/Agra
Tulika paints and also fills colors in the lives of children and women. Specializes in conducting bridge courses for children. Started ‘Aryashree’ in 2002, through it, 5000 children have been helped by her. Almost 50 to 60 women have been trained in different fields like stitching, marble etc. Commutes between Lucknow and Agra, interacts with slum children and women from both the cities. Dreams of seeing each child well educated and the women getting empowered. Tulika has received a number of awards -Malala Award, Shreenath Seva award, Mahila Sangh award, and Bhoomika award.
Dr Arpita Anand, Lucknow
After completing education, she established herself professionally and after understanding the significance of oral health she took up the concept of ‘Oral health awareness drive’ for the society.
Her urge to set a new benchmark in dental landscape finally got satisfied by formulating the concept of ‘Realtooth Clinics and Academy’.
She conducts oral healthcare programme in various schools, colleges, institutions, villages, public sector companies, traffic police stations, primary healthcare centres and other platforms.
They are planning to launch fully equipped mobile dental units which can move to remote vicinity for better penetration in society.
Dr Laxmi Gautam, Vrindavan
An associate professor, Gautam has been working to ensure justice for women abandoned by families. She founded an organisation which works for women and children welfare.
She works to check female foeticide, women abuse and promotes education. She has been awarded Nari Shakti Puraskar, Women Transforming India Awards, National 100 Women Award, Jijabai Award, Nari Shiksha Aur Suraksha Samman, Devi Award. National and international TV channels have broadcast documentaries on her.
Dr Rita Agarwal, Agra
Rita Agarwal is director of TEARS Institute (special school), Agra, and is working for the welfare of mentally retarded children since June 1992.
Rita explored options to serve in the field of mental retardation after completing her PhD in psychology. Realising that many mentally-retarded children end up in mental hospital, she laid the foundation of the first mental retardation institute ‘TEARS’ in Agra. Apart from education, vocational training is also imparted to the students of the institute.
Today, the school has the strength of 150 special children and 50 staff members.
Dr Seema Mishra, Lucknow
Seema Mishra is a scientist at CSIR-National Botanical Research Institute. She has worked on various environmental issues and created awareness about arsenic contamination and its health consequences.
Her research showed that arsenic accumulation in crops leads to reduced productivity and compromised nutritional value of cereal grains. She has identified several pollution tolerant plants which can be used for decontamination of water bodies, wetlands and soils, through a technique called phytoremediation.
Till date, she has published 59 research papers, book chapters and popular science articles and has presented more than 30 research papers in national and international conferences.
Dr Tulika Samant, Lucknow
A dentist by profession and a homemaker by choice, Tulika started a non-registered society Humanity First, is a self-funded group of women from all sections of society. The group works for the betterment of girl education and women empowerment. Last year, the group held a woollen and stationary distribution drive at a primary school in Barabanki. They frequently organise drives at the primary school of Banauga where stuff like skipping ropes, cricket kits and handballs is distributed. On the occasion of International women’s day, a menstrual hygiene awareness programme along with sanitary napkin distribution drive was also held in a village Ghazipur.
Dr Vijaya Bharat, Jamshedpur
Dr Vijaya Bharat is a cardiologist in Jamshedpur for the last 40 years.
He took upon the challenge faced by poor patients who needed pacemakers. In 2005, he desperately searched ‘pacemakers for poor patients’ on Google and that led him to establish a free pacemaker bank in Jamshedpur in collaboration with Rotary Club and an NGO in USA, Heart Beat International.
Since then, no poor patient has been returned. Till date, 230 poor patients have their hearts beating because of free pacemakers donated from pacemaker bank.
Dr. Amita Singh, Lucknow
Employed in the field of health safety and environment, reduced the impact on budgets and effective cost saving. Understands and implements HSE philosophy. Believes in “safe and sustainable production”. Set up a garden, for the visually impaired. Implemented changes which reduced and re-utilized water. Her role as Chief Environmental Expert in LMRC benefitted it by successfully accredited IGBC-LEED Audit Platinum Certification for implementing green system on sustainability for implementing ISO14001 / OHSAS. Awarded as Globally the Best drainage and surface tunnel project. Achieved 7 million safe man hours for Delhi project.
Dr Manjula Upadhyay, Lucknow
A gold medallist in economics and associate professor, AP Sen Memorial Girls Degree College. President Trustee, prof Sharda Prasad Tiwari Memorial Trust for various causes. Has actively participated as programme officer of National Service Scheme. Invited as judge, chief guest, keynote speaker at social platforms. Member of national, academic bodies, participated and presented papers in seminars, symposium and conferences. Published in national and international journals, written course content published in books of Uttarakhand Open University. Edited “Revisiting Economy of Permanence and Non-Violent Social Order” and authored “Fiscal Imbalances and Process of Reforms”.
Geeta Seshamani, New Delhi
Senior wildlife conservationist, social worker for sustainable rehabilitation of wildlife-dependent communities. Co-founder, secretary of wildlife SOS and the vice president of Friendicoes SECA. The Kalandars earned their livelihood by making the bears dance for money. She educated them and suggested an alternative means of livelihood, as an extension of the dancing bear rescue project. Provided vocational training and financial rehabilitation to the Kalandars. The Kalandars began surrendering bears to Wildlife SOS. 628 sloth bears were rescued. Empowered the women with skill training programs are candle making, incense stick making, sewing, block printing, etc.
Jagriti Rahi, Varanasi
A Varanasi-based social activist, has helped over 100 victims of sexual violence like molestation, eve teasing and rape. She arranges counseling for the survivors, convinced many boatmen and weavers to send their children to school and educate them, came across victims of abuse and began working for the cause. Victim’s families faced discrimination from the neighbors and society. She helped those victims to raise voice against their behavior. Permanent member of complaint redressal committee related to sexual harassment. Helped 500 girls get in schools. Arranged scholarships for girls up to tenth standard. She has won several awards.
Dr Jaya Tiwari, Lucknow
Social worker and reformer, makes efforts for the upliftment of women. Informs about fundamental rights, stands against female feticide. Founded India’s First Female Mission Rock Band- Meri Zindagii. The band’s vision is to “save and educate the girl child and protect women”. They use kitchen utensils like ‘okhal’ and ‘chimta’, as musical instruments, reflecting their biggest strength. Today, Meri Zindagii Female Rock Band works on missions which include saving water, promoting education, ensuring proper nutrition, Anti-smoking/anti-tobacco campaigns. She believes that a strong nation is built on the strength of its strong women
Jyoti Singh, Agra
Plight of underpriveleged girls motivated me to stand for their right to education. I voluntered for an NGO ‘Indian Dreams Foundation’ and initiated girls’ education, health and hygiene awareness drives in urban slums. Worked at grass-root with 500 adolescent girls. I joined the ‘Indian Dreams Foundation’, run projects for girls’ education, health and empowerment. Conceptualised and successfully launched girls’ education, sponsoring and mentoring project ‘Honhar Ladki’ for the girls and initiated ‘Smiley Days’ to focus on menstrual health and hygiene of girls. There are institutions which trusted our cause and motivated us with awards and recognition.
Madhu Saxena, Agra
She is a social activist, philanthropist and founder of Riwaaz Sanstha. She works for the uplift of the poor and organises exhibitions and fashion shows on social issues. She organised fashion events for transgenders and acid attack survivors. Some events include Pankh (for acid attack survivors, transgenders), Abhivadan (for senior citizens), Swachhta Abhiyan for LGBT community (Taj Mahotsav 2016), and Ek Shaam Maanavta ke Naam (for third gender).
Madhu Tugnait, Vishakapatnam
Named her project ICHA (desire), volunteered with Bhagavatula Charitable Trust. Worked extensively with women, teaching weaving, embroidery and tailoring. Mission was to provide a lifelong shelter for abandoned children. Sold all gold ornaments to buy a plot of land to teach. ICHA started operations with abandoned, children. Cooked, cleaned and looked after children suffering mentally and physically. ICHA, is managed by Madhu Tugnait. Employment philosophy is based on providing employment lower income group adults. Focused on building a team based on each individual’s capability and passion to serve the cause of abandoned children.
Manju Agrawal, Lucknow
Chief architect of the present women’s policy for UP, responsible for Domestic Violence Act 2005. With her vision and guidance, started community courts called ‘Nari Adalat’, in 16 districts of UP and Uttrakhand. They are run by barefoot semi-literate village women who are all in one: lawyers, judges and case investigators. Her book on “World of Adolescent Girls” is based on the study of these sanghas. ‘Washing Self’ and several other campaigns were carried out to increase the social status of women. Created Jagruk Nagrik Manch, first person to raise a voice against Ashiana rape case.
Monika Singh, Lucknow
Built 22 high quality steel toilets so far, in government schools of Lucknow under “Toilet and Hygiene project for Girl Children” mission, without seeking any grant. Has visited schools, identified the most deserving schools for deployment of toilets, spoken to education departments, school authorities and Nagar Nigam for permission. She is set to renovate 50 non-functional toilets. She takes classes on importance of hygiene in government schools. She is ready to build Bio-toilets in the slum areas. She believes in empowering women by helping them earn their own employment by providing sewing machines.
Dr Seema Bhadauria, Agra
She has demonstrated the reclamation of barren alkali waste land in Uttar Pradesh by promoting cultivation of Emblica, and benefitted 200 rural women of Manipur. Developed innovative soil, water and seed testing kits for farmers, which are widely being used. Helps farmers through her New Era Research foundation on plant pathogen identification, bio fertilizer production, organic farming and vermicomposting production using wastes. She motivated women to earn, from the sale of vermicompost and earthworms. She motivates all to adopt synthetic seed making, soil and water testing practices, low water usage technologies, and adulteration testing.
Dr Shashi Rai, Lucknow
Dr Shashi Rai has been associated with Richmond Fellowship Society India (Lucknow branch) since 2005. It is a non-profit organisation devoted for the cause of rehabilitation of patients of chronic mental illness.
Shashi has been working for the patients of chronic mental illness who are neglected by the society.
She is also the director of Sambal Drug De-Addiction and Psychiatric Centre, Lucknow.
Shashi has been associated with child guidance clinic of the National Institute of Public Health and Child Development since its inception in 2003 and has been instrumental in raising awareness regarding child mental health issues in schools.
Farhana Maliki, Lucknow
A social worker at heart, Farhana Maliki works for women empowerment and provides free education and medical help to slum dwellers.
Maliki is also the national president of Begamat Royal Family and belongs to the Nawab family of Avadh.
She worked hard to save several historical monuments of UP. She demonstrated several times to save Roomi Gate. She also demanded to announce the area between Bara Imambara and Chota Imambara as no heavy traffic zone. The Government accepted her demands in 2013.
Maliki did not stop, even after suffering a severe brain hemorrhage in 2010.
Juhi Ramani, Lucknow/Bangalore
Proud to be a sibling of an autistic adult. Started an NGO I Support Foundation along with my sister in Lucknow for the education and betterment of special and underprivileged children. My first campaign in Lucknow was HIFAZAT-’Protecting the Precious’, a workshop for awareness and confrontation of child abuse, with no funds and no volunteers. I conducted sessions for 1000 kids. Since then I have impacted 10000+ kids’ lives in Lucknow and Bangalore through different activities and imparted 55 kid’s free education in my day care school, The Chalk.
Kanchan Mishra, Kanpur Dehat
Despite lack of resources, Kanchan Mishra has been working for eradication of illiteracy and encouraging women to become self-dependent. She has been motivating people in villages to use toilets and maintain cleanliness. She also organises free health check up camps and hold programmes to inform people about the welfare schemes of central and state governments. She also works for treatment of injured and ill animals. She also founded an organisation Society for Equitable Voluntary Activity (SEVA) and adopted a village Banar Alipur in Kanpur Dehat on October 2, 2015.
Krati Singh, Lucknow
Krati Singh works for women empowerment and child rights with UP Police, UNICEF, Mahila Kalyan Vibhag and Mahila Samman Prakoshth in Lucknow.
She actively participated and led an operation ‘Saahas’ conducted by the UP police in rural areas.
The operation focused on overall well-being of children, spreading awareness on important helpline numbers, resolving problems related to emotional, physical and mental abuse. Till date, operation Saahas has covered 60,000 children.
Once a week, Krati offers counselling sessions to couples who are seeking divorce at Parivar Pramarsh Kendra at SSP office, Lucknow. Last year, approximately 524 divorce cases were resolved.
Kumkum Roy Choudhury, Lucknow
She set up ‘Tanpriya Creations’, and ‘Designer Collections’ boutique-cum-fashion designing enterprises in Lucknow. She organises fashion shows, proceeds of which go for the welfare of deprived sections. She has also written a book ‘Mujhe Yaad Hai… Dadabhai aur Hamara Pariwar’, a pictorial biography of Subrata Roy Sahara.Chhabi Shanti Dham, an old age home opened by her in Lucknow, is an example of her concern for the people. It has a child home too for orphans. She helps a large number of children living at various other orphanages. She has been honoured by National Sports Council, Bangladesh.
Pratibha Jindal, Agra
Vaicharik Jagran Mission Trust was established to make every woman self-reliant and empowered. With her trust Pratibha organised smart classes for women on different subjects such as the use of digital world, beauty career, jewellery design for cottage industry and more. A handmade exhibition for women was held by the trust so that they can get a chance to explore their skills. To improve the prisoners’ skills, they are made to make showpieces out of soap etc, which can be sold at the fair. Pratibha has been awarded with Kanya Surakchha, Pt Deendyal and Ur Celebration awards. Blood donation camps are regularly held especially for women by her trust.
Pratima Bhargava, Agra
Pratima Bhargava has been working for the last 22 years to check domestic violence, sexual abuse and to promote menstrual hygiene in rural areas and slums, among other social issues.
She believes that a woman can play a role in changing the society so she motivates women in rural areas to exercise their franchise.
Pratima also devotes time for animal welfare.
On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Pratima started her own NGO Kalyanam Foundation with the objective of making girls self-dependent. Till date, the NGO has groomed about 80 girls.
Pushpa, a recipient of Rani Laxmi Bai Bravery Award, is famous for her courage in the area. She received a cash award of Rs 1 lakh and a certificate for her bravery from chief minister Yogi Adityanath on March 29. In March this year Sunita and her daughter Savitri (4) had gone to take nature’s call when a leopard pounced on her daughter. Pushpa took on the big cat with a water pot. She sustained serious injuries but continued to fight with the leopard. When she raised alarm, people from nearby areas rushed to the spot after which the leopard ran away.
Pushpanjali Sharma, Varanasi
Pushpanjali is a yoga guru. While teaching yoga in rural pockets she came in contact with sexual abuse victims. She then started helping victims of sexual violence with yoga.
During last five years, she supported over 25 victims. She also does counseling for such victims. To them, she teaches meditation and yoga which charges them with fresh energy and gives them strength to move ahead in life.
Pushpanjali also conducted yoga classes for female inmates in the central jail.
Rachana Govil, Lucknow
During 1976, when women were being harassed for dowry, she became a member of Anti Dowry Organisation and raised voice against dowry.
To empower girl mentally and physically, exclusive self defense training facilities were started in boxing, taekwondo and wrestling at Lucknow.
Presently, she is working as executive director in Sports Authority of India.
Rachana represented India in athletics and shooting. And was the first Indian woman to take part in World Shooting Championship at Munich, Beijing and Milan in 2008.
Rakhi Lakhan, Lucknow
Rakhi Lakhan is a teacher at a government-run primary school and is also working for the welfare of underprivileged people.
She is associated with Nootan Muskaan, a social group which provides food to the poor. The group gets financial help from its advisory members.
Food packs are distributed in slums, outside hospitals and various other locations. The group collects ‘chapatis’ and breads from several families at ‘roti collection centres’ in Lucknow and prepare ‘sabzi’ with the help of contribution. Once in a week, the group also distributes clothes among the poor.
Ramsri Pal, Sitapur
Ramsri Pal is helping underprivileged women live a dignified life by imparting skill training course in rural areas.
Ramsri managed a sewing machine and started learning tailoring in Lakhimpur. She sold off her ornaments to meet the expenses on training and purchased a plot on the outskirts of Lakhimpur. She resolved to bring about change in the lives of women who are forced to live an obscure life.
She set up tailoring several training centres and started imparting training to over a hundred women. Ramsri is now a brand ambassador of rural women self-employment programme launched by the Allahabad UP Gramin Bank.
Being a homemaker for over 13 years, Shabnam Pandey had never imagined that someday she would be spearheading the efforts to address the plight of the downtrodden and needy in UP.
She has been fighting for the rights of women and children for the last 20 years.
She has also worked to help victims of domestic abuse and providing them legal help. She was among the first to help acid attack victims like Reshma (recipient of President’s award) and woman amputee Anurima, who climbed the Everest.
Shalini Lall, Lucknow
A social entrepreneur, Shalini Lall is an inspiration in the field of cooking for as many as 29,000 homemakers.
Her mentor Ranveer Brar, encouraged Shalini to start an initiative among women in the field of cooking.
Shalini, an engineer by profession, stood up for the cause of women. She started several cooking classes to train women at nominal charges. She often distributes food among slum dwellers.
Shalini is planning to start food vans driven by women which will be used to serve food outside hospitals, old age homes and people living on footpaths.
Sharmishtha Basu, Lucknow
Sharmishtha Basu, principal of Asha School at Army Cantonment is committed to the welfare of the specially abled kids. She has transformed the school for differently-abled children to a place of excellence in a short span of four years. She has introduced many techniques for special education for the first time in the state. Since 2006, she has also been working for the wounded soldiers, first in Jammu and Kashmir where her husband was also posted as an Army doctor, and subsequently in Kolkata. She got the award for best school in the state and has been honoured with the Lokmat Samman.
Shobha Thakur, Lucknow
Shobha Thakur is the president of a non-profit organisation Roti Kapda Foundation. The NGO aims to work for underprivileged people.
Shobha and other NGO members prepare nutritious food and distribute it to poor kids. The NGO provides fresh food to 250 children daily. The surplus food is distributed among elders.
Shobha along with other stakeholders of the NGO has also set up a Montessori education centre-cum crèche. The centre provides free basic education, school uniforms and stationery items to around eighty slum children.
The NGO also provides funding for chronic condition like physiotherapy, TB, heavy rebate in pathology-diagnostic fee.
Shraddha Srivastava Khan, Lucknow
Holds a degree in the special education of visually impaired, hearing impaired and mental retardation. Been indelibly devoting her life for rehabilitation of disabled people. Devotes her time for the welfare of the aged people. She has been recording books for the visually impaired and providing technical assistance in the production of audio and braille books. She has been organizing training programs and awareness camps to promote the cause of disability in the society. Having crossed the boundaries of caste and religion she married a visually impaired Muslim, last year.
Shradha Saxena, Lucknow
Shradha Saxena runs Ansh Foundation and has been working for social welfare since 2013.
She works for the cause of women and slum children and runs free summer camps for art and craft, drawing, best out of waste and stitching for slum children, especially girls.
Shradha works for rehabilitation of rape victims. She also runs boutique and beauty parlour to help underprivileged women earn their living.
She often organises seminars on the use of paper bags for sustainable environment. She provides training to people in rural areas and is working for creating awareness against tobacco.
Dr Shubha Agrawal, Kanpur
Dr. Shubha Agarwal, a PhD in economics, left her comfort zone to become the managing trustee of Seth Sriniwas Institute, Kanpur.
The Trust established a college to educate and nurture young minds and provide employment opportunities to people.
She worked hard by lending a helping hand to her father in his business along with studies. She also gave free coaching classes to the children of her society. Later, she decided to shoulder the responsibility as a managing trustee besides fulfilling family responsibilities.
She often distributes free plants among the people to promote plantation.
Sonali Khandelwal, Agra
She was born and brought up in Jaipur. She wanted to do something meaningful and provide direct services to the society.
She opted to work with children for their mind and personality development and to teach them ways of calculating sums, mentally, faster than the calculator. Her mission was to make them more confident and sincere. In her journey so far she and her academy has taught many children from privileged as well as under privileged backgrounds. Her organisation tied up with St Anthony’s College and brought children from Asha School for the specialized course.
Sunita Bansal, Lucknow
From the last 14 years, approximately 200 families residing in Duda Colony , Hanumanpuram were deprived of basic amenities like electricity, water, sewage, roads, bathrooms and toilets. It was Satvik Welfare Foundation that took over. Installed 30 sodium lights, focused on sewage lines and bathrooms, gave free free water connections to people. Satvik Welfare Foundation made water supply connections from water head tanks available to the people which were not in function for six years. This helped seven hundred houses to get free water connections.
Venu Agrahari Dhingra, Allahabad
Venu Agrahari Dhingra, a social activist and environmentalist has been working for women and girl child empowerment for past several years.
Having been associated with Saheli trust, which helps women of slums and destitute children besides the Asara Trust and Bal Vinita Ashram, Venu has been helping and supporting women and children of slums to build their independent life.
She has also taught in Him Jyoti, a school for unfortunate girls of hill areas, she taught them to make craft items from waste and put them up for sale.
Seema Singh Katiyar, Lucknow
Seema is an associate professor at Avadh Girls’ Degree College Lucknow. Along with her duties, she has been serving humanity through her outreach activities in slum areas and working for the uplift of girls and women in the society.
Seema regularly organises female literacy awareness programmes in slum areas. She has successfully created ‘No plastic zone’ in her college to protect the environment. Due to her continuous efforts, garbage of her college is being used to prepare organic fertiliser. She also imparts sex education to young girls and also organises self-defence sessions for girls at her college.
First Published: Apr 21, 2018 13:55 IST