President Ram Nath Kovind will present the Nari Shakti Puraskar, the highest civilian honour for women in India, at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Friday.
The awards for 2018 will be presented by the President at a special ceremony on the occasion of International Women’s Day.
The Ministry of Women and Child Development confers the Nari Shakti Puraskar on women and institutions to recognise their relentless service towards the cause of women empowerment and social welfare. This year, around 1,000 nominations were received by the ministry and 44 were selected for the award, according to an official statement.
Scientists, entrepreneurs, environmentalists, social workers, farmers, artists, masons, a woman marine pilot, a woman commando trainer, journalists and film-makers are among the recipients of the award, it said.
“No field has been left untouched, where women have not left their indelible mark, making women the leading force of our development trajectory. I thank all concerned for sending nominations and letting us know about the remarkable work of women of our country,” Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi said.
This year, a state, which has shown exceptional progress in improving child sex ratio at birth under the ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ scheme, and a one stop centre, which supports women affected by violence and abuse, are recipients of the award, the statement said.
The ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ scheme is a flagship initiative of the Centre to empower girls and improve sex ratio. While making the selections, a nominee’s contribution in empowering vulnerable and marginalised women was taken into account, it said.
Efforts were also made to include women who have contributed to “spheres and issues which have gained utmost importance and focused attention in the last few years”, the statement said.
The awardees have contributed in their unique ways to the society, impacting lives of people and are role models and an inspirations to many others, it said.