Economic independence is the most important for women says Dr. Nandita Krishna,
Nari Shakthi Puruskar award winner. She has won this award along with Dr.
Sailakshmi Balijepally and Ms. Kousalya from Tamil Nadu.
They will be receiving the award on March 8 on the occasion of International
Women’s Day in New Delhi.
I feel very honored and greatly humbled also to receive this award said Dr.
Nandita Krishna on this announcement of the award.
Dr. Nandita Krishna is an historian, environmentalist and writer. She has Ph. D.
in Ancient Indian Culture from Bombay University, where she was also a Heras
She is the Director of The C. P. Ramaswami Aiyar Foundation and Founder-Director
of its constituents. She is the editor of ECONEWS, Indian Journal of
Environmental Education, www.heritageonline.in and publisher of the Journal of
Indian History and Culture. Dr.Nanditha Krishna is also Professor and a Research
Guide for the Ph. D. programme of the University of Madras.
She has received several prestigious national and international awards including
Sir J. C. Bose Memorial AwardLion Dr. K. V. Govinda Rao Memorial Wisdom Award
for Lifetime Excellence, Title of “Sevaa Rathna”,
Acharya Hasti Centenary
Karuna Ratna Award,
M. S. Swaminathan Award for Environmental Protection
,Outstanding Woman of
Asia (from the University Women of Asia) and many more.
She is the author of Sacred Plants of India, Madras Then, Chennai Now
Madras-Chennai, Its History and Environment, Painted Manuscripts of the
Sarasvati Mahal Library; The Arts and Crafts of Tamil Nadu, The Art and
Iconography of Vishnu-Narayana, Folk Toys of South India , Varahishwarar
Temple – Damal , Folk Arts of Tamil Nadu. She also has done quite prominent
Her research projects include Sacred Plants of India, 2014 Sacred Animals of
India, Varahishwarar Temple, Damal, Origin and Iconography of Ganesha
and Painted Manuscripts
of the Sarasvati Mahal Library, Thanjavur and many more.
Dr. Nanditha Krishna
is the Founder-Director many schools including of The Grove School., Saraswathi
Kendra, Rangammal Vidyalaya Nursery & Primary School. She is also the
President of The Conjeevarum Hindu Education Society, which runs the S.S.K.V.
SCHOOLS and WOMEN’S COLLEGE. She also runs the Sir C.P. Ramaswami Aiyar Memorial
Nursey & Primary School, a free English-medium school in Kumbakonam.
She is also the Founder-President of Blue Cross of Kanchipuram, Member of the
Governing Body of the BLUE CROSS OF INDIA, Board Member of Humane Society
She has won several awards including the Indian Science Monitor for her work in
environmental education, Wisdom Award 2012 organized by Wisdom (Monthly Digest),
Lifetime Achievement Award, Loyola Forum for Historical Research (LFHR), Karuna
International and many more.
Six National Awards (Stree Shakti Puruskar) in the area of women's endeavour and
exceptional contribution are conferred each year on International Women's Day –
the 8th of March by the Government of India in the names of (i) Devi
Ahilya Bai Holkar; (ii) Kannagi; (iii) Mata Jija Bai; (iv) Gaidinliu Zeliang;
(v) Rani Lakshmi Bai; and (vi) Rani Rudramma Devi, all iconic and legendary
figures from country's history. The first five Stree Shakti Puraskars were
instituted in 1999. The Rani Rudramma Devi award was added in 2007.
This year Government has decided further to recognize the singular contribution
of women in specific areas by way of Nari Shakti Puruskars and eight women are
being conferred with this award.
The individual awardees of the above Puruskars through their work / activities
in betterment of women and society at large, are part of the process vide which,
not only is there improvement in the "condition" of women but also an
advancement in their "position" through enlarging economic social and political
freedom and choices available to them.
Speaking about her service, she said that " A lot of women have been benefited
through her work. She said that she involves a lot of women in what she does and
she works for them too. She said that she doesn’t have an idea of how many women
have been benefitted and every year they educate thousands of girls. We educate
school children also and we educate children studying from standard 7 to 12. We
also have free schools for boys and girls. In rural areas, we teach
environmentally appropriate income generation programme for women like kitchen
gardening, vermicomposting etc.
I also work with kota tribal women, teaching them art pottery. Now we are also
working with Irula and Kurumba tribes. When we work with the poor you can't only
work with women. But of course, women are benefitted more." she said
When questioned about the challenges she faced she said that "Challenges I face
is that problems in India are so vast. However much anyone does is not enough.
You have to do so much more. And sometime after doing something, you feel this
is all. There is so much more to be done and one lifetime is not enough for
that. That I think is the biggest challenge in India. Maybe in most of parts of
the world that whatever you do for society or the environment is or about any
idea, whether you are a scientist or a journalist there is so much to be done
and at the end of the day after you do one thing, you feel so much has been
She said she wished to see a better world for young and safer world also. She
also emphasized on safety for girls.
When asked her about what she has go to say on International Women's day she
said "Women should have confidence in themselves. They should realize that I can
do, we can do a lot. We all want to be good wives, mothers which is very good.
Economic independence is the most important. And every woman should strive to
make sure she is economically independent and capable of standing on her own".
*Media and Communications Officer, PIB, Chennai
Asst, PIB, Chennai