Women of Worth
In Association with NDTV

Meet the Nominees

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Meet the Nominees

Meet the Nominees

Updated: Feb 18, 2016

  • Suparna Gupta, Founder, Aangan

    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.

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  • 120-new

    Jyoti Mhapsekar, President, Stree Mukti Sangathana

    Category Name: Daughters of the Soil (Social Work)

    She empowers poor women waste-pickers with education and healthcare, and organises them into micro-credit groups. The NGO currently works with 3,000 waste pickers through their own federations.

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  • 120-new

    Jagmati Sangwan, General Secretary, All India Democratic Women’s Association

    Category Name: Daughters of the Soil (Social Work)

    She fights honour killings and lobbies against the powerful and dangerous Khap Panchayats. She is the reason why Haryana now offers protection homes. She has almost singlehandedly made a case for a strong legislation against honour killings.

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  • 120-new

    Amla Ruia, Founder, Aakar Charitable Trust

    Category Name: Daughters of the Soil (Social Work)

    She has transformed 100 villages in Rajasthan by promoting traditional water harvesting methods. Her organisation has constructed 200 check dams with the participation of villagers, and impacted livelihoods of over 2 lakh people who earn a combined income of Rs.300 crore per annum.

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  • 120-new

    Shaheen Mistri, Aakanksha Foundation; CEO, Teach for India

    Category Name: In a Class of Their Own (Education)

    Shaheen’s vision, the Akanksha Foundation, is a non-profit that provides about 5,000 children from low-income communities with a high-quality education, by enabling school reforms and supplemental education programmes.

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  • 120-new

    Pranshu Bhandari Patni, Innovator

    Category Name: In a Class of Their Own (Education)

    Listed as Forbes India’s 30 under 30 achiever for creating among the top 10 educational apps in the world, Pranshu’s Hello English is an interactive app allows speakers of 16 languages to learn English. It has become the No. 1 English learning and speaking app on Google Play
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  • 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.

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  • 120-new

    Farida Lambay, Co-Founder & Trustee, Pratham

    Category Name: In a Class of Their Own (Education)

    Her organisation Pratham’s Read India programme helps children between the age group of 6 and 14 years improve reading, writing and basic arithmetic skills. With the help of 4.5 lakh volunteers, it engages with a staggering 33 million children across 19 states.

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  • 120-new

    Dr Tessy Thomas, Missile Scientist

    Category Name: The Originals (Science and Innovation)

    Tessy is the first woman scientist to lead a missile project in the country. Project Director for 5,000 km range Agni V, the long-range, nuclear-capable missile that was tested successfully in 2012. She barely has a moment to exult. Two more tests have to be conducted before the defence forces can deploy the missile.
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  • 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.

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  • 120-new

    Nina Tandon, CEO & Co-founder of EpiBone

    Category Name: The Originals (Science and Innovation)

    Nina’s venture EpiBone is the world’s first company growing living human bones for skeletal reconstruction. Epibone’s revolutionary, proprietary technology engineers stem cells into anatomically precise, patient specific bone tissue replacement.

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  • 120-new

    Hemani Kalucha, Innovator

    Category Name: The Originals (Science and Innovation)

    Hemani has developed a customised air hockey game for the visually impaired using sensors, Bluetooth, and even a robotic arm that can be attached to the board so that the visually impaired person does not have to play alone.

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  • 120-new

    Patricia Narayan, Restaurateur

    Category Name: Game Changers (Business and Entrepreneurs)

    She started her journey with a handcart at Chennai’s famous Marina Beach. On her first day, she could only sell one cup of coffee for fifty paise. Today, she is the owner of Sandheepha, which runs a restaurant and several food courts in big corporate houses.

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  • 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.

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  • 120-new

    Richa Singh, Co-Founder, YourDOST

    Category Name: Game Changers (Business and Entrepreneurs)

    To reach out to students and professionals who suffer acute stress and breakdowns and have no one to turn to, Richa has created an online helpline, YourDOST. Recently it has received a Rs. 2.5 crore angel investment. YourDOST has been used by 80,000 people.

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  • 120-new

    Pabi Rabari, Owner Pabi Bags

    Category Name: Game Changers (Business and Entrepreneurs)

    Undeterred by lack of education and business acumen, Pabi used her ‘hari jari’ embroidery skills to start her bag company. Two years hence, she employs 50 women. Her work is also an ongoing activism against her community leaders who had banned hand embroidery.

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  • 120-new

    Anna Kujur, President, Athkosis Adivasi Sangathan

    Category Name: Eco-Revolutionists (Environment)

    Anna fights for the adivasis to uphold the 2012 amendment to the Forest Rights Act. The Act that restores to the forest-dwelling communities titles to their land. Anna has helped 2,000 tribal people obtain their rightful ‘patta.’

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  • 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.

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  • 120-new

    Harshwanti Bisht, Founder, Save Gangotri Project

    Category Name: Eco-Revolutionists (Environment)

    The Hillary Medal was awarded to Dr. Bisht for her work to rein in the ecological collapse in the Gangotri headwaters area over the past 25 years. Her project has planted tens of thousands of saplings, saved endangered herbs, and introduced ecotourism standards.

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  • 120-new

    Sheelu Francis, Head, Tamil Nadu Women’s Collective

    Category Name: Eco-Revolutionists (Environment)

    Francis’ network works in around 20 districts in Tamil Nadu for the past 12 years, successfully promoting collective-model farms. It has empowered one-lakh rural and marginalised women across 15 districts in the state.

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  • 120-new

    Jaya Jha, Co-founder pothi.com

    Category Name: I Write, Therefore I Am (Literature)

    She has created a revolutionary concept to support struggling authors, who can post, publish, print and sell books at a drastically reduced cost.

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  • 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.

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  • 120-new

    Anuradha Roy, Author and Co-Founder, Permanent Black

    Category Name: I Write, Therefore I Am (Literature)

    She is the only Indian in the list of 13 novelists who have been long-listed for the Man Booker Prize, 2015, for her third novel, Sleeping on Jupiter. She has also co-founded Permanent Black Publishing that has over 300 books in print, authors including eminent scholars.

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  • 120-new

    Ruby Hembrom, Founder & Director, Adivaani

    Category Name: I Write, Therefore I Am (Literature)

    She has created an archiving and publishing platform for adivasis, which revives adivasi literature, and brings it back into public discourse.

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  • 120-new

    Sreejata Roy, Project Coordinator, After School Art and Education Programme

    Category Name: Arts For Life’s Sake (Arts)

    Sreejata Roy is a one-of-a-kind visual artist who works in low-income neighbourhoods in Delhi. She uses conventional art as well as mixed media to produce narratives in parks, walls, even chai shops, to raise relevant questions and trigger debates in the community.

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  • 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.

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  • 120-new

    Kalki Subramaniam, Activist

    Category Name: Arts For Life’s Sake (Arts)

    The first transgender woman to star in a major film, Narthagi, Kalki has established a strong transgender rights community with a global outreach. She advocates for the rights of transgender community, supports their education, and finds them employment.

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  • 120-new

    Deborah Herold, Cyclist

    Category Name: The World is My Playground (Sports)

    The young woman who once survived the Tsunami by sitting atop a tree one whole day today is World Number 4 in overall cycling rankings. Her feats have created a space for cycling as a top sport in India.

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  • 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.

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  • 120-new

    Deepa Malik, Athlete

    Category Name: The World is My Playground (Sports)

    After a spinal tumour left Deepa paralysed waist-below in 1999, she turned to sports. She is a shot put 53 (qualified for Rio Olympics), discus and javelin thrower, a swimmer, and an adventure sportswoman. She holds four records in adventure sports, including two Limca Book records.

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  • 120-new

    Oinam Bembem Devi, Footballer

    Category Name: The World is My Playground (Sports)

    While leading the Manipur state team for the last 22 years, she has also been recognized as the Woman Footballer of the Year by AIFF (2013, 2001), led India to wins in South Asian Championships (2012, 2010), and signed by Maldives’ New Radiant SC, emerged the highest scorer (2014).

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