On the occasion of International Women's Day, President Ram Nath Kovind awarded the 'Nari Shakti Puraskar' to several women for their achievements in their respective fields at a function in Rashtrapati Bhawan on Sunday.
President Kovind presented the award to Padala Bhudevi, Bina Devi, Arifa Jan, Chami Murmu, Nilza Wangmo, Rashmi Urdhwardeshe, Mann Kaur, Kalavati Devi, Kaushiki Chakroborty, Avani Chaturvedi, Bhawana Kanth, Mohana Singh Jitarwal, Bhageerathi Amma and Karthyayini Amma among others.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani along with other leaders were also present at the event.
Among these, there is a 103 years old woman who received the award for her achievements in athletics. Mann Kaur is known as the 'Miracle from Chandigarh', who began her athletic career at the age of 93. She won 4 Gold (Track and Field) at World Masters Athletic Championship, Poland. She has set a record by becoming the world's fastest centenarian at the American Masters Game, 2016.
Mann Kaur has won the silver medal for long jump (3.21m) and a bronze for 100m race and has also been associated with the 'Fit India Movement'. She is the oldest person to walk along the top of Auckland's Sky Tower (2017). Despite suffering from osteoporosis, she has displayed how her determination is key to her success.
Mann Kaur has won more than 20 medals in World Masters Games and America Masters Game -- Gold, 100m World Masters Games at New Zealand in 2017; Gold, 100m and 200m at National Level; and Gold, 100 m and 200m at Worlds Master Championship at the USA in 2013.
Indian Air Force's first women fighter pilots Mohana Jitarwal, Avani Chaturvedi and Bhawana Kanth also received the 'Nari Shakti Puraskar' from President Kovind. In a comment before the award ceremony, the first Indian women pilots to take a solo flight in MIG-21 said, "We've been thriving to become operational to serve our nation. We have a lot to achieve".
The national award is given annually to individuals, groups and institutions to recognition their exceptional work towards the cause of women's empowerment, especially towards vulnerable and marginalized women.