Category Name: Daughters of the Soil (Social Work)
She protects and rehabilitates the most excluded, isolated and vulnerable groups of children, including those who live in government homes. She has developed an integrated model for child harm prevention, which is implemented in 39 locations across the country.
Safeena Husain, Founder & CEO, Educate Girls
Category Name: In a Class of Their Own (Education)
Safeena tackles the root cause of gender inequality in India’s education system. Her comprehensive model reforms government schools through community ownership. Today it works in 8,000 schools across 4,500 villages.
Lalita Prasida Sripada Srisai, Innovator
Category Name: The Originals (Science and Innovation)
She developed a low-cost bio-absorbent water purifier, which uses waste corncobs as a key ingredient. This is a cost-effective and simple technique, which is useful for immobilising the contaminants in ponds, reservoirs and water tanks. Google has awarded Lalita $10,000 and is mentoring her to build the project.
Vani Kola, Venture Capital Investor
Category Name: Game Changers (Business and Entrepreneurs)
When it comes to India’s e-retailing sector, Vani has the Midas touch. Kola bet on Myntra, which was then acquired by Flipkart in 2014, giving Kalaari stakes in two of India’s largest e-retailers. Her other investments are UrbanLadder, AppsDaily, and Zivame.
Ajaita Shah, Founder and CEO, Frontier Markets
Category Name: Eco-Revolutionists (Environment)
Ajaita’s Frontier Markets makes quality, affordable clean energy products and goods available to rural India. It works with micro-finance institutions and field staff to educate, relate, and reach out to households. It is present in 32 districts in Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Sreemoyee Piu Kundu, Author and Columnist
Category Name: I Write, Therefore I Am (Literature)
Her book Sita’s Curse is India’s first feminist English erotica novel, creating a dialogue about shame, inhibition and sex among the youth.
Neha Kirpal, Founder, India Art Fair
Category Name: Arts For Life’s Sake (Arts)
Neha’s India Art Fair brings in over 100,000 footfalls every year. The art fair provides a commercial platform to over 1,100 artists from India and the South Asia, and attracts some of the most important museums, curators and collectors in the world.
Pwilao Basumatary, Boxer
Category Name: The World is My Playground (Sports)
A leading boxer with the national team, she has come a long way from her childhood which was a daily battle with hunger and poverty. She has recently won gold at the 5th AIBA Nations Cup.