Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Women and Child Development
06-March-2019 16:21 IST
Smt. Maneka Gandhi felicitates 'Web Wonder Women'
The Ministry of Women and Child Development hosted a felicitation event for Web Wonder Women, a campaign organised to celebrate the exceptional achievements of women, who have been driving social reforms via social media. As many as 30 women, who were selected after an extensive research process, were honoured by the Minister for Women and Child Development, Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi in New Delhi, on 6th March, 2019.
Organised in collaboration with Twitter India and Breakthrough India, the event aimed to recognise the fortitude of Indian women stalwarts from across the globe who have used the power of social media to run positive campaigns to steer a change in society.
"Women online, though niche, are a very powerful voice. #WebWonderWomen was a campaign to recognise, honour and encourage such voices that have in their own capacity driven a positive impact on social media platforms," said Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, Union Minister for Women and Child Development.
The WCD Minister, along with a panel of 10 judges, finalised the names of 30 women who have impacted and influenced society through social media. The women were selected from over 240 nominations received under the categories media, awareness, legal, health, governmental, food, environment, development, business and art.
On 8th March, the Ministry honours women who have contributed to society but have remained unsung with the Nari Shakti Puruskar, which is conferred by the President of India at Rashtrapati Bhawan. Along with these Puruskars, the Ministry started a new system of recognising women who have broken the glass ceiling and ventured into unusual fields. In 2018, the Ministry hosted 'First Ladies', a first-of-its-kind Government initiative to felicitate exceptional women who were the first to set a milestone in their respective fields. In 2015, the Ministry had collaborated with Facebook to recognise '100 Women Achievers' who have excelled in diverse sectors of public work. These women were hosted by His Excellency the President of India. Web Wonder Women' is the third leg of the ‘Women Achievers’ campaign of the Ministry.
WEB WONDER WOMEN AWARDEES
1. Adhunika Prakash is the founder and CEO of Breastfeeding Support for Indian Mothers (BSIM). She is a social entrepreneur using technology to enable 85,000+ expectant and new parents to take informed decisions about breastfeeding. She used Twitter to raise awareness about the importance of breastfeeding and the various policies that need to change in the country to enable and protect breastfeeding. #FreedomToNurseevents,via BSIM, were held in 3 cities and they virtually reached out to several across the country through the events.
2. Afreen Siddiqui Sherwani is a passionate development professional with over 11 years of working with the Gram Panchayats to policy makers and the United Nations. She is a self-made woman and has made more than 5000 self-made women in her development career.
3. Ankita Anand is an independent journalist-writer-poet with a focus on social justice issues. She has been awarded in Indian and outside for her reporting, writing and poetry. Currently she is running a campaign for gender sensitive reporting in the media.
4. Archana KR is from a village near Sakleshpur, Karnataka, in the Western Ghats. She is passionate about public problem solving, has lots of working experience with children and women and has worked with more than 12000 youths. She is a Changemaker from change.org. She aspires to engage, empower and involve children and women to build a problem- solving community.
5. Chavi Vohra is a development professional, experienced in promoting children rights, women’s empowerment and youth development through programme development, advocacy, social media advocacy and capacity development. She has worked with UN (UNICEF, etc.), national and international civil society organizations (Save the Children, Plan International, etc, foundations, HCL Foundation) media (NDTV) and academics institutions (Schools and Universities) at local, national and international levels. She is the co-curator of @SDG2030 that promotes people’s action in the localization of SDGs. It’s recent chat created over 100 Million impressions on Twitter.
6. Dr. Angela Chaudhuri is a B.D.S, M.P.H and P G Diploma in Journalism. She is Director, Swasti Health Catalyst, on the board of Catalyst Group of Institutions, IDEX Global Accelerator, AIDS Asia Pacific, PMNCH and part of the MIT Solve Leadership group.With 18+ years of experience in Public Health, Angela’s expertise lies in country programme evaluations, research, capacity building, fundraising and knowledge management in HIV, TB, Malaria, Health Systems Strengthening. Angela works closely with governments, civil society, community groups and corporates and uses Twitter to add value to those working for social impact.
7. Dr. Saundarya Rajesh - One of India's most impactful thought leaders on diversity, Dr Saundarya Rajesh tweets not only about the influence of inclusion and second career opportunities for women in India but also a wide list of topics ranging from skilling, intentionality, self-confidence, focus and gratitude. Social entrepreneur, Founder-President of AVTAR Group - Dr Rajesh has created the largest impact on adolescent girls through her Project PUTHRI.
8. Dr Anubhuti Yadav is the Head of Department of New Media and Course Director of Advertising and Public Relations Course at the IIMC. Her work in educational media won her four national awards as best scriptwriter and researcher for the series on women achievers, Paramveer Chakra awardees and media literacy. She played a key role in the launch of National Repository of Open Educational Resources, a project she coordinated for Ministry of Human Resources and Development. She is using twitter extensively to create awareness on Fake News and Misinformation.
9. Dr. Debarati Halder, Ph.D, is an Advocate & Honorary Managing Director of the Centre for Cyber Victim Counselling. She is the Founder- Secretary of the South Asian Society of Criminology and Victimology and the Global advisory committee member for International Society for Therapeutic Jurisprudence. She has created a hashtag in Twitter #cybercrimesagainstwomen to spread awareness about the issue, as well as spread awareness about related laws, cyber victimology, etc. She strongly advocates for the rights of women and child victims of online crimes through Twitter. She spreads awareness about revenge porn and is trying to generate support for a focused revenge porn prohibition law for India.
10. Dr Laxmi Gautam is an associate professor in Vrindavan who is constantly working to ensure justice for women abandoned by families. She founded an organization “Kanak Dhara” which works for women and children welfare. Her desire to help others was augmented by the use of social media as she could easily share her work, thoughts, hopes thus motivating and influencing others for an improved society. NALSA acknowledged her social survey on widows of Vrindavan twice in 2011 and 2012. The CRPF acknowledged her work towards widow upliftment in Vrindavan in 2013. She has been awarded the Nari Shakti Award by Aadhar Foundation in 2013, the Jijabai Award by Delhi University for women empowerment, among many others.
11. Japleen Pasricha smashes the patriarchy for a living. She is the founder & editor-in-chief of Feminism in India, an award-winning digital feminist media platform. She is also a TEDx speaker and a UN World Summit Young Innovator. Japleen uses Twitter to share feminist resources with the hashtag #femresources. She regularly RTs the voices of Dalit, Bahujan and Adivasi women so as to amplify voices at the margins and she also calls out trolls on Twitter and sends solidarity hugs to her sisters.
12. Madhulika Choudhary is a Software Engineer. Through Twitter, she started providing awareness about the difference between urban & rural lakes, domestic & industrial sewage, easy techniques for wastewater remediation. She is involved in converting sewage water into fresh water daily using phytoremediation techniques in Neknampur lake. Many citizens contacted her on Twitter to join cleaning & plantation drives for lakes. Twitter helped her connect with other organizations, as well as government officers for lake rectification issues.
13. Nmami Agarwal is the founder of Nmami Life - a platform for spreading awareness and educating people about the therapeutic benefits and holistic healing powers of food in its most natural or unprocessed form. A huge platform like Twitter has ensured that her voice and opinion reach masses, and draw people closer to the motto she believes in, which is - “Eat Today for Tomorrow”. The ever-growing Twitter family has helped her establish many B2B and B2C relations that impacted her business model positively.
14. Paromita Bardoloi is an Independent writer, poet and a spoken word artist. Over the years she has been writing for many national and international websites. She uses words, both written and spoken to drive home the point, that women matter and their stories deserves to be heard.
15. Parul Mathur has always been inclined towards the social issues that affect women. She works at a Norwegian IT company, as a Technical Documentation Specialist. She has been tirelessly working on the issues of gender equality and women health. She is also working on raising awareness about Cervical Cancer in India. For raising awareness, she regularly runs awareness sessions in slums, schools, colleges and corporate. Parul is also a part of the Change.org community and has been recognized as a Change Maker by Change.org. She is currently running a petition to the Government of India for the actual implementation of the much talked about 'Maternity Benefit Act'.
16. Sagina Walyat is a lawyer by profession. She has raised a demand for bulletproof jackets for the Indian soldiers on social media and as a result 50k jackets got delivered in the first round. A second lot is all set to get delivered by April 2019. She also done a national campaign on sexual harassment of women at workplace in 2018. Sagina along with her team helped NDRF and IAF through Twitter during kerala flood and rescued 9000+ lives. She is also currently working with a team on spreading knowledge about vote and issuance of voter ID card by reaching out to people through twitter. In Sagina’s words, ‘Nothing is impossible even if you don't have enough resources. All you need to do is to believe in yourself, you will certainly get the way.’
17. Dr Shruti Kapoor is the founder of Sayfty and an award-winning gender equality activist. Shaken by the horrific gang rape in Delhi 2012, she founded her organization, Sayfty to educate and empower women and girls of India against gender-based violence. She is a recognized Twitter user and mentor. She has built a global community that engages weekly in discussions on girl’s / women’s empowerment, safety, and action against gender-based violence. These inclusive discussions make 10-15 million impressions weekly and address taboo topics often not discussed openly in our society.
18. Shweta Pathak is a Human Resources Professional, with extensive experience in industry & consulting. She has leveraged social media platforms like Twitter to bring people with the same purpose & passion together, for positive change. She has been actively involved in building & managing communities to drive positive change by collaboration, overcoming internal & external barriers by leveraging Twitter. Some of these communities include National Human Resources Development Network (NHRDN), Human Library Mumbai, Society for Human Resource Management and so on.
19. Smt. Sonal Goel, IAS is 2008 Batch Officer, All India 13th Rank, currently posted as Deputy Commissioner, Jhajjar, Haryana. She is leveraging the power of social media including Twitter to improvise G2C & C2G Governance. She is using various social media platforms. Her recent campaigns include: Donate and contribute – SanjhiMadad, Kerala Disaster Relief; Gender equality & Social Evils– campaigns under BBBP; Excel through competitive exams – Josh Talks and Contribution to society for making ‘The Better India’
20. Sonal Kapoor is one of the youngest members of the expert committee on anti-child trafficking (Delhi Commission of Women) and a member of the CSO Coalition to End Child Marriage in India. She has rescued 826 girls from points of Child Abuse, mainstreamed them through quality education and life skills. She founded Protsahan, 9 years back, to prevent & heal the trauma of Child Sexual Abuse through use of extremely creative art-based approaches.
21. Srilekha Chakraborty is a Gender Rights Activist working with the Adivasis in Jharkhand - helping them access health & body rights. She joined Twitter recently to support her online campaign ensuring menstrual health services to young girls in Jharkhand. Since then she uses Twitter to connect to individuals and youth-led feminist organizations. One highlight of her Twitter experience was tweeting to Uber-India during the Kerala Floods and getting them to donate uber-credits worth 10k for a collection center in Kolkata - helping them transport donated relief materials.
22. Supreet K. Singh A writer, film director, a gender activist and a yoga acharya, Supreet has transitioned from 15 years of corporate experience to being an award-winning filmmaker & running an NGO. A partner at Red Dot Foundation, Safecity, she overlooks the functioning of the organization & specifically handles the operations, marketing, creating campaigns to engage women and men in solutions and designing partnerships globally. Her organisation actively uses Twitter for engagement. Every week, a guest is given a set of guidelines to abide by on relevant topics such as gender, inclusivity and diversity. At the end of the week, the curator hosts a tweet chat open to all.
23. Vinita Deshmukh: Award-winning author Vinita Deshmukh is a senior journalist of 30 years vintage and presently, Consulting Editor of Corporate Citizen magazine and Moneylife online finance daily. Vinita uses the dual power of the Right to Information Act for her investigative stories and Twitter to amplify them. Vinita has intelligently used Twitter for consumer- related complaints and got the issues promptly resolved. Vinita also uses Twitter to spread public awareness on several issues. She has authored four books including co-authoring Vinita Kamte’s `To the last bullet’ on her husband Additional Commissioner Ashok Kamte who was martyred in the 26/11 Mumbai Terror attack.
24. Ritu Maheshwari is presently serving as the District Magistrate, Ghaziabad, U.P. On her official twitter handle, she posts tweets related to Govt. policies, schemes, cleanliness, health and hygiene, women’s safety and public awareness, etc. which directly benefits citizens. She also takes feedback for her work, directly from the public by making them open for public reviews & suggestions. Along with this, public grievances on her twitter handle are taken into consideration and get solved positively within the stipulated time frame. In this way, her twitter handle acts as two-way communication - G2C (Govt. to Citizen).
25. Kirthi Jayakumar is a peacebuilder, peace educator and gender equality activist. She founded and runs the Red Elephant Foundation, and uses Twitter to talk about issues centered on peace, gender, and structural violence. Kirthi has also used Twitter - both tweets and DMs - to engage with a few of her trolls. Sometimes, that has led to powerful friendships emerging after conflict transformation, sometimes, that has led to two people agreeing to disagree but without hate. She leaves love and peace through GIF hugs for anyone on Twitter to take.
26. Urvashi Sarkar uses Twitter when she wants to say something specific or special. It could be an insight, observations about a social process, or highlighting an event which should receive attention. A lot of her journalistic reportage is from rural Sundarbans, which she uses Twitter to share. She has discovered a small but growing readership for these articles through Twitter. Since she also covers foreign policy, Twitter is an important source of news, a journalistic tool and means to connect with sources and editors.
27. Sohini Chattopadhyay is an awardwinning reporter and writer, who has been published in The New York Times, The Guardian, The Sueddeutsche Zeitung, the Hindu, Mint and the South China Morning Post. She has published groundbreaking reportage on women’s health, particularly on maternal health and the predominance of women among living organ donors in India. Her writing on popular films is acclaimed, and known for its focus on women and sexual minorities. She finds Twitter an excellent platform to share her work and generate conversation around under-reported topics. She is against personal attacks, abuse, trolling and fake news, and calls out such behavior on Twitter and social media in general.
Twitter-Breakthrough voting winners
28. Manu Khajuria Handle: @KhajuriaManu
Profession: Freelance Writer and Community Activist. Founder of Voice of Dogras, a Community Organization.
29. Rishika Sharma Handle: @artistrishika
Profession: Self-taught Artist
30. Rakshita Dwivedi Handle: @Raks_d
Profession: Food Entrepreneur. Founder of Recipe Dabba, which empowers families with healthy choices