Nari Shakti Puraskar

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Nari Shakti Puraskar
Awarded forHighest civilian award for recognising service to the cause of women's empowerment in India
Sponsored byGovernment of India
Reward(s) 100,000
First awarded1999

Nari Shakti Puraskar (formerly Stree Shakti Puraskar), literally meaning "Woman Power Award", is India's highest civilian award for recognising the achievements and contributions of women.[1] The awards are given away by the President of India every year on 8 March, International Women's Day at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.

The Nari Shakti Puraskar is conferred on individual women, public and private institutions and public departments for their activism and/ or their contributions to the cause of women's empowerment. The award, instituted in the year 1999 by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India, is given in six institutional categories and two individual categories.[2][1]

The award carries a cash prize of rupees one lakh (INR 100,000) and a citation.[2]

President of India Ram Nath Kovind awarding Nari Shakti Puraskar to Dr. Seema Rao on International Women's Day, 8 March 2019
Erstwhile President of India, Pranab Mukherjee bestowing the 2012 Rani Lakshmibai Stree Shakti Puraskar posthumously on 2012 Delhi gang rape victim, Nirbhaya.

For the year 2012, the award was posthumously bestowed on the 2012 Delhi gang rape victim, Jyoti Singh Pandey.[3][4]

President of India Pranab Mukherjee bestowing the 2013 Rani Lakshmibai Stree Shakti Puraskar on Manasi Pradhan at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi on 8 March 2014.[5]
Gargi Gupta and other awardees of Nari Shakti Puraskar, 2017, Minister Maneka Gandhi.


The Nari Shakti Puraskar is given in six institutional categories and two categories for individual women.[1]

Institutional categories[edit]

Each of the six institutional categories is named after an eminent woman in Indian history.[1]

  • Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar Award for Best Private Sector organization/ Public sector undertaking in promoting the well-being and welfare of women, named after Ahilyabai Holkar, 18th-century ruler of the Malwa kingdom.
  • Kannagi Devi Award for Best State which has appreciably improved Child Sex Ratio (CSR), named after Kannagi, the central character of the Tamil epic Silapathikaram.
  • Mata Jijabai Award for Best Urban Local body for providing services and facilities to women, named after Mata Jijabai, mother of Shivaji, who founded the Maratha Empire in the 17th century.
  • Rani Gaidinliu Zeliang Award for Best Civil Society organization (CSO) doing outstanding work for the welfare and well-being of women, named after Rani Gaidinliu, a 20th-century Naga spiritual and political leader
  • Rani Lakshmi Bai Award for Best Institution for Research & Development in the field of women empowerment, named after Lakshmibai, one of the leading figures of the Indian Rebellion of 1857 and erstwhile queen of Jhansi.
  • Rani Rudramma Devi Awards for two District Panchayats and two Gram Panchayats, named after Rudrama Devi, a 13th-century ruler of Deccan Plateau.


Stree Shakti Puraskar, the predecessor of the Nari Shakti Puraskar, was instituted in the year 1991.[6] It carried a cash prize of 100,000 and a citation. The Stree Shakti Puraskar was given in the same six categories as the Nari Shakti Award.[7][8]

1999 recipients[edit]

2013 recipients[edit]

2015 recipients[edit]

2016 recipients[edit]

The award was given to 33 recipients.[9]

2017 recipients[edit]

39 individuals and institutions received the award.[10]

2018 recipients[edit]

The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind gave away the Nari Shakti Puraskar to 44 recipients.[11][12] The award function was held on 8 March 2019. The awardees (in alphabetical order) are:

  • Dr. A Seema (Scientist, Centre for Material for Electronics Technology [CMET]) - Developed low cost technology for early detection and screeming of breast cancer
  • Ms. Anshu Khanna - Empowered women craftspersons through her project "Royal Fables"
  • Ms. Anu Malhotra (Filmmaker) - Transformed the lives of people through her thought provoking films
  • Ms. Anuradha N. Naik - Contributed in developing the skills of tribal women to cultivate and conserve local chilli variety in Goa
  • Ms. Chetna Gala Sinha - Founder of a bank for and by rural women
  • Ms. Darshana Gupta - Touched the lives of 3500 women by initiating mass marriages of those belonging to less privileged backgrounds
  • Ms. Devaki Amma (Environmentalist) - Protected biodiversity by growing forest with rare trees on her land in Kerala
  • Ms. Delia Narayan Contractor (Self-taught architect) - Designed eco-friendly sustainable houses with mud and stone inspired from local traditions
  • Ms. Gowri Kamakashi - Instrumental contribution in uplifting lives through her philanthropic interventions in healthcare
  • Ms. Hekani Jakhalu (YouthNet) - Empowered women, unemployed and drop-out youth to develop skills and find livlihood
  • Ms. Ipsita Biswas (Scientist, DRDO) - Crucial contribution in performance evaluation of armour material and life-saving devices like bullet-proof jackets for our armed and paramilitary forces
  • Ms. Iti Tyagi - Contributed in conserving crafts culture by setting up a platform wherein artisans get a chance to connect with consumers, industry and patrons. The platform offers learning and sharing
  • Ms. Kagganapalli Radha Devi - Instrumental in breaking traditional notions of gender and employing many femake bvarbers in Tirupathi temple to tonsure the hair of women devotees.
  • Ms. Kalpana Saroj - Revives a shut-down industrial unit. Provided emplyment to poor masses and women. Born in an underprivileged family, she is now a globally recognised business woman.
  • Ms. Lalita Vakil - Chamba Rumal
  • Dr. Madhuri Barthwal - First Garhwali female musician; dedicated her life towards folk music and its preservation
  • Ms. Manju Manikuttan - A committed social worker, she has helped numerous Indian wo in Saudi Arabia who migrate for work and face foreign land issues
  • Ms. Meenakshi Pahuja - An International level swimmer, She has played an instrumental role in the lives of young women and students with different abilities keeping an interest in swimming
  • Ms. Mini Vasudevan - A passionate animal activist who has sensitised theh public and relentlessly worked on various aspects of animal welfare and environmental sustainability
  • Ms. Munuswamy Shanthi (Scientist, Satish Dhwan Space Center)
  • Ms. Neelum Sharma - A senior correspondent at DD News & a filmmaker. Her strong advocacy of the maginalised section is reflected in several documentaries directed by her
  • Ms. Nomita Kamdar - An entrepreneur who has played a key role in bringing public awareness about environmental issues through adventure sports and eco-tourism, thereby restoring the natural harmony in the Western Ghats
  • Ms. Pamela Chatterjee - She has dedicated her life to the restoration of barren lands, uncultivable sodic soils and water conservation projects. She has supported numerous farmers through her work
  • Ms. Pragya Prasun - An activist and social worker who survived an acid attack and now provides relief and rehabilitation to such survivors to enable them to thrive in life
  • Ms. Priyamvada Singh - An entrepreneur who has created emplyment opportunities for villagers by restoring her 148 year old ancestral fort and developing it as a community-run home stay
  • Ms. Pushpa N.M. - An exam scribe who has been writing exams for specially-enabled persons from the past 10 years and aims to contribute in their lives and careers
  • Ms. Rahibai Soma Popere - Fondly known as "Seed Mother", she has conserved native seeds of several crops and prevented the exploitation of distressed farmers in Maharashtra
  • Ms. Rajani Rajak - Iconic folk singer of Dhola Maru art form of Chhattisgarh, she has relentlessly worked to keep this art form alive through her performances
  • Ms. Reshma Nilofer Naha - The first woman marine pilot in India
  • Ms. Rhea Mazumdar Singhal - An entrepreneur building a sustainable environment by using agri-waste to make biodegradable food packaging
  • Ms. Ruma Devi - Herself an artisan, she has empowered craftspersons by formimng self-help groups, eliminating middlement and bringing better profits to them. She works with over 11000 artisans as of now
  • Ms. Seema Kaushik Mehta - A Kathak artiste who is inspiring the nexty generation of artists by teaching them Kathak
  • Dr. Seema Rao - First and only woman commando trainer in India. She has trained over 15000 soldiers from Indian Army, Navy, Air, Paramilitary Police, NSG, ITBP, SVP, NPA Commando Wing SFF & Para Special Forces free of cost. She, along with her husband invented an indigenous method of reflex shooting, which is known as the Rao System of Reflex Fire which has benefitted the Indian Army.
  • Sister Shivani (Motivational speaker and teacher) - Her seminars and television programmes on human beaviour have transformed the millions of lives
  • Ms. Smriti Morarka - Initiated "Tantuvi[13]" to revive the weaving traditions of Benaras. She provides a platform to the young generation to take up weaving
  • Ms. Snehlata Nath (Founder of Keystone Foundation) She has dedicated 26 years of her life to creating a harmonious balance between nature, humans and technology
  • Ms Sonia Jabbar (Tea planter & wildlife conservationist) - She founded the Haathi Saathi Nature C,ub for children and also established an elephant friendly tea estate
  • Ms. Sujatha Mohan - She has spread awareness of the importance of eye donation, and provided essential eyecare services to the rural and poor population in Chennai
  • Ms. Sunita Devi - Working on the issue of women's health and sanitation, she is a Rani Mistri (Master Trainer) under the Swacch Bharat Mission
  • Ms. Twinkle Kalia - Provides free ambulence service for the needy in New Delhi
  • Ms. Urmi Basu - By forming the "New Light" organisation, she has been instrumental in changing lives of the children of sex workers in Kolkata's red-light area
  • One Stop Centre, Lucknow (Institutional Awardee)
  • Qasab-Kutch Craftswomen Producer Co. Ltd. (Institutional Awardee)
  • The Social Welfare and Nutritional Meal Programme Department, Tamil Nadu (Institutional Awardee)

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Nari Shakti Puruskars-National Award for Women-Guidelines"]" (PDF). Ministry of Women and Children, Government of India. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Press Information Bureau". Press Information Bureau. Government of India. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
  3. ^ "President gives Stree Shakti awards on International Women's Day". Yahoo News India. 8 March 2013. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
  4. ^ "Stree Shakti Award for Nirbhaya". Daily News and Analysis. 7 March 2013. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
  5. ^ "laws alone cant come to women's rescue". The Hindu. 8 March 2013. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
  6. ^ "Worthy women, please stand up". The Telegraph. Calcutta. 14 February 2013. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
  7. ^ "Women's Award (Press release)". Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India. Archived from the original on 21 May 2009. Retrieved 14 March 2014.
  8. ^ "Stree Shakti Puraskar" (PDF). Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 January 2012. Retrieved 14 March 2014.
  9. ^ "Nari Shakti Puraskar awardees full list". Best Current Affairs. 9 March 2017. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  10. ^ "Nari Shakti Puraskar". TOI. 7 March 2018. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  11. ^ "President gives Nari Shakti Puraskar, woman marine pilot, commando trainer receive loudest cheers". Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  12. ^ "President confers Nari Shakti awards on 44 women". The Tribune. 9 March 2019. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  13. ^ "Tantuvi". Retrieved 22 April 2019.

External links[edit]