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Mumbai - Smita Thackeray’s Mukkti Foundation that has been working relentlessly in areas of drug abuse, HIV/AIDS, women and child welfare as well as art and culture for the last 25 years, organized a Women’s Day celebration honouring women from various fields with Mukkti Veer Nari Awards and Mukkti Women Achiever Awards for Excellence in Social Impact.

“At Mukkti, we believe that women empower women, hence we have women who have succeeded in various fields to award other successful people. It is very important to hold hands to progress,” says Smita Thackeray.

“We have still a long way to go, as majority of women in Bharat suffer from lack of education, malnutrition, domestic violence, child marriage, child labour, female foeticide, dowry, gender discrimination at home and at workplaces among many others. Hence, the need for Women Empowerment is of utmost importance.”

Hon CM of Maharashtra Eknath Shinde presided over the event while Anupam Kher, Dulari Kher, Raveena Tandon, Veer Senani Foundation, Manju Lodha, Aruna Irani, Major General HS. Kahlon, Major General Vikrant Naik, and Alaya F were the guests of honour.

The Mukkti Veer Nari Awards were given to Poonam Chandrakant Jadhav, Priyanka Nilesh Khot, Sushama Sangram Phadtare, Sankapal Mayuri Anil, Ujwala Sanjay Mane, Mule Ashwini Machindra, Premala Sachin Jadhav, Nanda Dilip Padwal, Rani Sudhir Nikam, Suvarana Sujit Kirdat and Priyanka Somnath Mandhare – all family members of army martyrs.

Mukkti Women Achiever Awards for Excellence in Social Impact were given to Dr Anusha Srinivasan Iyer, Sheetal Kardekar, Ankita Verma, Dr. Trupti Gilada, Anita Peter, Adv. Priya Shah, LT CDR Tanu, MAJ Divya Aditi Nayak, Lata Ghanshamani, and SURG CDR Shazia Khan.

Hon Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, in his address, lauded Smita Thackeray and Mukkti Foundation, adding that he will always be there for his sisters and will support Mukkti in its endeavours.

The awards were interspersed with cultural programs including folk and light music, kathak and a feisty Lavani among others


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