3 Ashoka India Fellows awarded the prestigious Stree Shakti Puruskar and Nari Shakti Puruskar

 

From L-R - Kousalya Periasamy, Seema Prakash and Dr. Sailakshmi Balijepalli
From L-R - Kousalya Periasamy, Seema Prakash and Dr. Sailakshmi Balijepalli

On International Women’s Day (March 8, 2015), the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee awarded 3 our Fellows - Seema Prakash, Kousalya Periasamy and Dr. Sailakshmi Balijepalli with the prestigious ‘Stree Shakti Puraskar’ and ‘Nari Shakti Puraskar’ for the year 2015.

Both the awards recognize the achievements of individual women who have fought and helped establish the rights of women in various fields such as education, health, agriculture, rural industry, awareness on women’s issues, supporting women in agriculture and rural industries, empowerment of women and more.

The Stree Shakti Puruskar carries 3 lakh rupees and a citation and the Nari Shakti Puruskar which was instituted this year, carries an award of 1 lakh rupees and a citation.

Below are brief profiles of our Fellows –

Seema Prakash - By setting up rural labor associations to monitor the transparent and effective implementation of the new National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, Seema Prakash and Prakash Michael are creating a grassroots democratic process that improves food security and rural labor relations in India.
Seema Prakash was given the Ashoka Fellowship in 2006. She received the Rani Laxmibai Award (Stree Shakti Puruskar).

Kousalya Periasamy - Kousalya Periasamy is a pioneer: the first woman in India to declare she is HIV-positive. She has brought attention to the fact that the average Indian housewife is at risk of infection. Through the Positive Women Network, she is creating a network of support systems for women living with HIV and Aids in India.
Kousalya Periasamy was given the Ashoka Fellowship in 2012. She was awarded the Nari Shakti Puruskar.

Dr. Sailakshmi Balijepalli - A former pediatrician, Dr. Balijepalli Sailakshmi is reducing the child mortality rate among the most poor by raising their access to quality healthcare. To achieve this, she is linking communities, schools, universities, and public providers to public healthcare in order to build health awareness, enhance health seeking behaviors and make care inclusive, accountable, and effective.
Dr. Sailakshmi Balijepalli was given the Ashoka Fellowship in 2012. She was awarded the Nari Shakti Puruskar.