Indians received 2013 World of Difference Awards from TIAW

On March 27, 2014, three Indians and four NRIs received the prestigious 2013 TIAW (The International Alliance for Women) awards at the TIAW World of Difference Awards dinner in Washington, DC.

Each year, the TIAW World of Difference 100 Awards recognizes women – and men- who have advanced the economic empowerment of women.

The award was presented by TIAW president Lisa Kaiser Hickey to the 100 winners who represented 35 different countries on five continents.

Among the Indian winners is Abhay Khandagle, a Zoology professor at a Pune University, who was recognised as “a champion for women’s empowerment for the past 20 years”.

The citation said, “He has been teaching and designing courses for girls students who come from the rural and hilly areas to make them financially independent. As a member of Board of Studies, he has been instrumental in framing a curriculum that increases women’s employability.”

The founder of The Little Theatre Trust (founded in 1991 in Chennai), Aysha Rau, received the award for a “Non-Profit/NGO”.

“For the last 18 years, she has scripted and produced musicals and shows. Her outreach programme includes theatre workshop and spoken English classes for 200 underprivileged children on weekly bases,” the citation said.

Achyuta Samanta, who founded The Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) in Odisha, first started a small school in 1993 to help the people in that area. She was recognised as a “Champion, Women’s Economic Empowerment”.

The citation said, “KISS has grown into the largest residential institute in the world for twenty thousand tribal children providing education, food, accommodation, clothing and health facilities absolutely free”.

The winners from Indian-origin include, Namita Krul-Taneja from the Netherlands, who has set up her own business, New Yardsticks “which assesses and improves existing social-development programmes that help marginalised women and develops new programmes”. She was recognised for entrepreneurship.

“She is also involved in WORK+SHELTER, an organisation that provides fair-trade work for destitute women, some of whom also need a safe space to live” in New Delhi.

TIAW Global Forum & World of Difference Awards

TIAW Global Forum & World of Difference Awards

Born in Mumbai and co-founder and patron of Cafe Spice Namaste, Pervin Todiwala, was recognised for entrepreneurship in Britain.

“She is a rarity as the ‘quiet’ half of one of the most dynamic and successful partnerships in the UK’s male-dominated $3 billion Asian cuisine industry. She is also a staunch supporter of women’s business organisations, including City Women’s Network, Women in Marketing and TIAW”.

Padmasree Warrior, Vijayawada-born Cisco’s chief technology and strategy officer from the US was recognised in the corporate category.

“Warrior shares her knowledge as a mentor and coach, particularly in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math area (STEM), and has used her prominence to support other women following in her wake”.

Guyana-born Narine-Dat Sookram, was recognised as a “champion, women’s economic empowerment” for his work in Canada.

The citation said, spending his own time and money “Sookram is dedicated to coaching women in business to give them the skills they need to be economically independent”.

YS Subramaniam

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