Iti Tyagi, founder of Craft Village, has been conferred the Nari Shakti Puraskar 2018 by the Government of India, for her contribution towards women’s empowerment.  President Ram Nath Kovind presented the award at a ceremony in Rashtrapati Bhawan on Monday.

Formerly known as Stree Shakti Puraskar, Nari Shakti Puraskar is conferred on the International Women’s Day every year on those women who go beyond their limits and obstacles in both their personal and professional lives to achieve something. It is also awarded to institutions that work towards uplifting the status of women in society.

“The first step to empower any society begins with empowering your own self,” Iti Tyagi said after she was awarded the Nari Shakti Puraskar.

She added: “I urge every woman to come out of their shells and to break the stereotype. Women are the creators of life, and they are capable of anything they want to achieve or do.”

Her Craft Village is a social enterprise that works to bridge the gap between rural and urban communities by producing traditional crafts.

“I have been working with the craft sector for decades, and one of the fundamental facts I have observed is crafts are integral part of Indian women’s life. These crafts have been created out of daily imagination, stories, tradition, ritual, emotions and available resources. One can see immense creativity and innovation in them,” said Tyagi.

Tyagi has been involved in training artisans from various clusters such as Balakatti, Moradabad, Saharanpur, Firozabad and Kutch on metalwork, wood, glass, and embroidery.