The World Association of Women Warriors (WAOW) celebrated International Women’s Day in style by organizing the prestigious Warrior Awards 2020-21 at a ceremony held at JW Marriot in Delhi on 6th March 2021. This was the first-ever Warrior Awards event in India by WAOW, a global organization that aims to achieve the United Nations SDG-5 goals and has members across the world.
The ceremony was graced by several renowned guests, including the Chief Guest, the first female IPS Dr. Kiran Bedi, who praised the awardees for their courage and inspiring journey. Dr. Bedi stated that the event was the only one she had physically attended in almost 18 months and was happy about her decision.
The Guests of Honor, Dr. Prerna Kohli, the first Clinical Psychologist ever honored by the President of India, and Ruma Devi, Nari Shakti Awardee by the President of India, also shared their insights on the significance of recognizing and celebrating women warriors. Dr. Kohli emphasized the need to remove the stigma around mental health and Ruma Devi spoke about the importance of empowering women by providing financial support and resources.
The event was also attended by Ira Singhal, the first differently-abled IAS topper and brand ambassador for the Department of Disability, MoSJE, Government of India, who shared her journey and encouraged the awardees to not let challenges stop them from achieving their dreams. The High Commissioner of the Republic of Uganda in India, Her Excellency Ambassador Grace Akello, also shared her journey as a tribal woman and her work as an author.
Over 30 prominent and meritorious awardees were celebrated at the event, including Captain Zoya Agarwal, Dr. Rita Jairath, Ms. Pallavi Singh, and many others. The list of awardees also included grassroots warriors from smaller cities such as Dr. Sharmila Pandey, Nishi Gupta, Leena, and Shahana Bibi.
The Warrior Awards were instituted by WAOW to recognize and celebrate women who have transformed their lives and are making a positive impact in their communities. WAOW director, Shahwar Shohrat, said that the awards were a testament to the strength and conviction of women warriors. The event was attended by over 80 known and prominent women from various states in India and had messages from other International WAOW Warriors.