Selected Award Ceremonies 2010
Narmada Baldeva Gond - INDIA
On the occasion of International Women's Day, 8 March 2011, in New Delhi, Narmada from the village of Chilghat was honored with the WWSF Prize for women's creativity in rural life.
Narmada is a typical example of the transformation 'Ekta Parishad' makes possible: a way out of ignorance and lack of self realization and well-being. Adivsai* and not schooled, Narmada is today a community leader of a village, that was created by occupying non-utilized land with 120 families, as a result of a long non-violent struggle. Narmada Bai initiated many important steps in the history of Chilghat, a place where life is simple and hard, but dignified. As a result of Janadesh 2007, the biggest march for justice organized by 25'000 deprived and poor people, 19 families from Chilghat received property rights.
Aged 60, Narmada Bai received the WWSF Prize in the presence of a gathering of some 10'000 members and friends of 'Ekta Parishad', united around the theme of the year "the voice of women against corruption". By honoring her with the prize of US$ 1000, the equivalent of 1000 working days for an agricultural worker, which she was during half of her life - one can say, that her history demonstrates that good, disinterested action can sometimes bring honor and financial rewards.
Narmada Bai will attribute the prize money to the Chilghat school. She adds with appreciation: "With Ekta Parishad, we discovered another world! We were really ignorant, but today, our eyes are opened. From slaves destined to live in shanty towns of Delhi and Bombay, we have become proud human beings who fight for our rights. We have land and can work for our future and that of our children. I did not go to school, neither did my children, but my grand-children will be able to study and aspire for a better life".
*Adivsas are tribal aborigines who are the most ancient habitants of India.
Pratibha Rajesh BUKKAWAR (in presence of the Swiss Ambassador in New Dehli) - INDIA
“We thank all of your team for your special efforts to empower rural women across the world and for your support in our efforts to promoting rural women to become independent. We are pleased to inform you that the Honorable Consul General of Switzerland in Mumbai at the Swiss Consulate presented the WWSF Prize for women’s creativity in rural life to laureate Pratibha Rajesh Bukkawar on 15 October in the presence of his Deputy and Pratibha’s family along with our colleagues and media persons.
The Government of India’s TV channel Doordarshan interviewed both the Consul General Mr. Nievergelt and Mrs. Pratibha, which was telecast on the same day all over the country. Pratibha Rajesh Bukkawar was also invited for a live TV discussion of 15 minutes the same day…“
Nuansy Ratanasithy - LAOS
“…Thank you and WWSF once again for this great honor and appreciation of a rural women in Laos as well as in other parts of the world. Good luck to your valuable work and all the best for you personally, it was a pleasure to cooperate with you. I would like to submit some pictures of the Nuansy’s prize ceremony that took place in Laos, mainly at the Province Governors Office in Sayaboury. The press release was published in the newspaper Vientiane Times, and I put the announcement of the prizewinners at the info screen at GTZ Head Office in Eschborn/Frankfurt for several days. Thank you so much and kind regard…“
Santosh Bai Sahariya - INDIA
“…We are grateful to WWSF for recognizing the contribution of Santosh Bai Sahariya, fighting harmful traditional practices in rural life. We invited her to a State level event to celebrate her selection and transmit to her your certificate“
Dr. T.V. Anna Mercy, Professor, College of Fisheries, Kerala Agricultural University - INDIA
“…Thank you very much. The news has been published in the newspapers of Kerala on 15 October itself. I received lots of congratulations from all of my colleagues, friends, well wishers, relatives from in and out of the country. It has really motivated and encouraged me to do more for the people of the rural community. The WWSF certificate will be delivered to me at a meeting of the Rotary International. I feel proud of it and assure that I will continue to do the same in a more effective manner. I am planning to donate the award amount to the Ornamental Fish Farmer's Society of the rural people of Kumbalam panchayat so that they will be motivated and benefited. It will be a seed money for their capital investment...“