President Kovind gives away Nari Shakti Puraskar on the occasion of International Women's Day
   08-Mar-2020

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President Ram Nath Kovind gave away the Nari Shakti Puraskar in Rashtrapati Bhawan on the occasion of International Women's Day today.
 
The awardees include 103-year-old athlete Mann Kaur, Indian Air Force’s first women fighter pilots Mohana Singh, Bhawana Kanth and Avani Chaturvedi, classical vocalist Kaushiki Chakroborty and 98-year-old Karthyayini Amma who topped the literacy exam in 2018.
 
The National Award is given annually to individuals, groups, institutions in recognition of their exceptional work towards the cause of women empowerment, especially for vulnerable and marginalized women. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with the Nari Shakti Awardees at his residence in New Delhi today.
 
Bhageerathi Amma, a native of Kollam district of Kerala, had cleared the 4th level equivalency exam in 2019. As a rare honour for her stupendous achievement, Bhageerathi Amma had found a special mention in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s the Mann Ki Baat programme in February 2020. Karthyayani Amma, who lives in Alappuzha district of Kerala, Bhageerathi Amma’s fellow learner, also bagged this year’s Nari Shakti Puraskar. She scored 98 out of 100 in the final examination, securing the first rank!
 

Nari Shakti Puraskar 2020 
 
Addressing the 9th Episode of ‘Mann Ki Baat 2.0’, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi narrated the inspiring story of 105-year-old Bhagirathi Amma. She lost her mother and husband at a very young age. She restarted her school education at the age of 105! She started studying again! In spite of her advanced age, Bhagirathi Amma wrote her level 4 exam and then eagerly awaited her results. She scored 75 per cent in her exams and wants to continue her education. He said that people like Bhagirathi Amma are the strength of this country; a great source of inspiration for all of us.
 
When she passed the 4th level equivalency exam in 2019, Bhageerathi Amma was 105 years old. Bhageerathi Amma wrote the Level 4 equivalency exams conducted by the State Literacy Mission. She scored 205 (74.5%) out of the total 275 marks in the exam. She has scored full marks for Math, 75 on 75.
 
Born in Kollam, in Kerala, Bhageerathi has six children and 16 grandchildren. She is now living a happy life with her fifth-generation descendants. Representatives of the Common Wealth had visited her house and honoured her. Her dream is to pass the 10th level examination.
 
Karthyayani Amma never attended school when she was young. She earned a livelihood as a cleaning employee in temples. She was married at 30, widowed early, and raised six children. Karthyayani Amma enrolled for studies in January 2018 after taking inspiration from her 60-year-old daughter Ammini Amma who recently passed a literacy mission course. Karthyayani Amma now aims at clearing the Class 10 equivalency examinations. She also aspires to acquire computer skills.
 
The two women from Kerala were also selected as the Commonwealth of Learning Goodwill Ambassadors.