"New legislations, no matter how well conceived, must be supported by efficient enforcement mechanisms. Legislation, alone, cannot emancipate our women", said Mukherjee in his address on International Women's Day.

"There is a need for a fundamental re-setting of our mental and moral make-up, our civic sense and our social conduct. We must do all that we can to revive our tradition of according due honour and respect to our mothers and sisters; by doing so we will honour ourselves," he said.

The President also conferred the Stree Shakti Puruskar on six illustrious women in recognition of their achievements.

Mukherjee said that as housewives, mothers, teachers, businesswomen at the grassroots and executives in the top echelons of the corporate world, women have, through their individual efforts made contributions to build the India of today.

"As respected professionals in all walks of life, women have, in no less measure, made their mark in the frontiers of science, space exploration and research alike," he said, making a special mention of the women in agricultural sector.

He stated that women in this sector are the mainstay of India's food security --and also the scores of women workers who toil shoulder to shoulder with men in building, brick by brick, the mighty physical infrastructure of our country.

The six women who got the award include Dr Vartika Nanda from Delhi who has been honoured with Rani Gaidinliu Zeliang Award for creating awareness on women's issues through media.

Nanda is a faculty member in Lady Shri Ram College, and is the author of 7 books including one with poems by women inmates of Tihar Jail and another one with poems on women's rights.

She has done her Ph.D on the coverage of rape cases by the print media. She has been an honorary media advisor with the special police unit for protection of Women and Child (Delhi Police) and has helped in creating campaigns.

Manasi Pradhan from Odisha was honoured with Rani Lakshmibai Award for her work in the field of women's empowerment.

Dr M Venkaiah from Andhra Pradesh was honoured with Rani Rudramma Devi Award for her contribution in the field of women's health.

Bina Sheth Lashkari from Maharashtra was honoured with Mata Jijabai Award for her achievement in the field of education and training while T Radha K Prashanti from Andhra Pradesh has been honoured with Kannagi Award for her achievement in the field of providing support to orphans, visually impaired, handicapped and destitute women.

Dr Seema Sakhare from Maharashtra got the Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Award for her contribution in the field of women's rights, gender issues, legal counselling and institutional support to women and girls.

The awardees for the Stree Shakti Puruskar are nominated by state governments, MPs, VIPs on suo-moto basis, and selected by a national level Screening Committee.

There are six awards instituted in the name of women icons of India and each award carries a cash prize of Rs 3 lakh and citation.


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