The Indian Council for UN Relations (ICUNR) celebrated International Women’s Day by honouring Outstanding Women Achievers of 2017 at an awards ceremony on Thursday. The ceremony was followed by a panel discussion on “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao – The Survival, Protection and Education of the Girl”.
“The purpose of celebrating International Women’s Day is to showcase commitment to women’s equality, launch new initiatives and to celebrate the various achievements of women. If we women start supporting each other and commit to empowering even one woman who needs our help, it will be a step in the right direction, and things can change. The only way to change things is to be the change,” Leher Sethi, Secretary, ICUNR, said on the occasion.
ICUNR awards
Leher Sethi with Minister for Coal and Mines Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary at the event. (Photo: SNS)
Sethi, along with Neeraj Kumar, founder, Le Magnifique Group, hosted the afternoon attended by chief guests Union Minister for Coal and Mines Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary, and MoS, Women and Child Development, Virendra Kumar.  UN delegates, embassy heads, select diplomats and several celebrities were also in attendance.
The Ministry of Women & Child Development supported the event this year under its Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campaign.
Social activist Rekha Vohra and Shahnaz Group of Companies head Shahnaz Husain were among the women who received the award.
ICUNR awards
Entrepreneur Shahnaz Husain with Aishwaryaa Rajnikanth Dhanush at the event. (Photo: SNS)
KL Malhotra, Secretary General, ICUNR, said, “Women’s have been suffering since long traditionally and historically and ICUNR supports their struggle against gender inequality, oppression, discrimination, sexual assault, domestic violence and denial of basic equal human rights. Celebration of International Women’s Day 2018 is the 9th edition of ICUNR and our focus is on Women’s emancipation and empowerment which lie in the theme of the year Press For Progress and Be Bold For Change.”
Film personality Aishwaryaa Rajnikanth Dhanush, Ira Singhal, the first physically challenged woman to top UPSC exam in the general category, author Kiran Manral, acid attack victim Laxmi Aggarwal, ONGC Director-HR Engineering Veena Swarup and Kuchipudi dancer Kaushalya Reddy, among others were present on the occasion.
ICUNR awards
(L-R) Parull Mahaajan, MP Udit Raj and Secretary General of ICUNR KL Malhotra at the event. (Photo: SNS).
Addressing the gathering, Shahnaz Husain said, “I am honoured to be the recipient of the ICUNR International Women’s Day Award… I want to salute the independence of spirit that women have been expressing over the last few decades. They have made a mark in every field. I believe that with time the women of India will not only be skilled and financially independent, but a force to reckon with! I dedicate this International Woman’s Day to woman empowerment.”
Participating in the panel discussion after the awards ceremony, Asha Devi, Karuna Nundy, Kaushalya Reddy and Nandita Khuranna dwelt upon various issues and challenges faced in India vis a vis empowering women.