The Minister of Women and Child Development, Maneka Sanjay Gandhi felicitated 112 exceptional women achievers in New Delhi today.The Minister of Food Processing Industries, Smt Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Ms. Anupriya Patel were also present on the occasion. These women achievers ‘FIRST LADIES’ are those who are first to set a milestone in their respective fields like the first female Merchant Navy Captain, first train driver of passenger train, first female fire fighter, first female bus driver, first Indian woman to reach Antarctica among others. Welcoming the First Ladies, the Minister of Women and Child Development, Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi said that the First Ladies are a unique group of women who are the first in their respective fields of achievement and each one deserved to be recognized. " Your achievement will inspire other women to break the glass ceiling and do the women of India proud", she said. Smt Maneka Gandhi said that the WCD Ministry has been organising similar events to recognise women achievers in different ways which has yielded great results.The Minister of Food Processing Industries, Smt Harsimrat Kaur Badal congratulated the First Ladies and hoped that their number will grow bigger and bigger. The Minister said that women in India face a number of challenges, and achieving the distinction of being a first in any field would have been truly challenging for most women. " You have shown and proved that it can be done and it will happen" Smt Harsimrat Kaur said.
The Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Ms Anupriya Patel appreciated the WCD Ministry for its unique initiative "First Ladies". The initiative is in the spirit of Beti Bachao Beti Padhao programme and the women achievers will act as a role model and inspiration for women across the country. "You have started a journey which will take India forward", the Minister exhorted.Smt Aishwarya Rai Bachchan graced the occasion with her presence and interacted with the First Ladies.A coffee table book showcasing the achievements of these ladies was also released on the occasion. These first ladies busted stereotypes and broke the glass ceiling to become the Number One. Facebook and DD News have partnered with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in this unique initiative.On March 8th, the WCD Ministry honours with Nari Shakti Puruskars, those women who have contributed to society but have remained unsung. The Nari Shakti Puraskars are conferred by the Hon'ble President of India at Rashtrapati Bhawan. Along with these Puruskars, the Ministry has started a new system of recognising in different ways, those women who have broken the glass ceiling and ventured into unusual fields. The Ministry had collaborated with Facebook in 2015 to recognise '100 Women Achievers' who have excelled in diverse sectors of public work. These women were hosted by His Excellency, the President of India. 'First Ladies' is the second leg of the ‘100 Women Achievers’ campaign of the Ministry.Click here for profiles of the 112 Women Achievers.