NITI Aayog’s Women Transforming India Awards to Odisha’s Jayanti Pradhan

New Delhi: NITI Aayog organized the Fourth Edition of the Women Transforming India Awards today and Hon’ble Raksha Mantri, Shri Rajnath Singh, presided over as the chief guest of the event and conferred the WTI Awards. WTI Awards are NITI Aayog’s initiative to highlight the commendable and ground-breaking endeavours of India’s women leaders and changemakers. Since 2018, the Awards have been hosted under the aegis of NITI Aayog’s Women Entrepreneurship Platform with a special focus on entrepreneurship.

Launched on International Women’s Day, two years ago, the Women Entrepreneurship Platform has become a forum dedicated to educating, enabling and empowering women entrepreneurs.

The event began with a recap of the Women Entrepreneurship Platform’s journey over the last two years through a video. The event featured three spotlight speakers, Ms. Debjani Ghosh, President, Nasscomm; Ms. Ani Choying Drolma, musician and women’s rights activist; and Ms. Chetna Gala Sinha, Founder and Chair, Mann Deshi Bank and Foundation who delivered spirited talks on the importance of the three pillars of WEP: Iccha Shakti, Gyan Shakti and Karma Shakti.

Addressing the audience, the Raksha Mantri emphasised on the role of women in the workforce in contributing to the economic growth of the nation. He went on to remark, ‘Today’s awardees have overcome financial and societal challenges to not just redefine the word entrepreneurship but also refine it. I congratulate NITI Aayog and WEP for providing women entrepreneurs with a platform to share their dreams, failures and victories with each other and grow from them.’

Today’s award ceremony recognized women across verticals of healthcare, education and food tech amongst other fields. The WTI Awards 2019 received over 2,300 applications of which the Top 30 were shortlisted through a three stage evaluation process consisting of independent assessment and Jury and Super Jury Rounds.

The cohort of WTI’s Top 30 women constitutes an impressive array of trail blazers who have led strong business models or made groundbreaking innovations, shattering the glass ceilings to achieve success.

The WTI has continuously brought to the fore, inspiring female role models who have been impacting change in the nations. This edition was no different in providing the much needed limelight for the stellar work of women-led businesses in both commercial and social sectors.

See below for the full list of winners:

1. Dr. Priyanka Mokshmar is the co-founder of Vaayu Home Appliances. Vaayu provides economically affordable and environmentally feasible alternatives to traditional AC units across India – selling their products from Madhya Pradesh to Maharashtra and Delhi.

2. Ramya Venkataraman’s Centre for Teacher Accreditation (CENTA) has created a certification framework that allows for teachers’ skills and competency to be assessed as well as improved.

3. Shilpi Kapoor started BarrierBreak, a company focused on the accessibility of technology for those with disabilities. The company uses digital access as a way to bridge some of the challenges differently-abled people face daily.

4. Rinka Banerjee’s Thinking Forks is a consulting organisation, with expertise in the food and nutrition industry which has allowed them to create products to combat acute malnutrition; a program aligned with the Indian Government’s public health efforts.

5. Nidhi Pant combats the issue around waste and farmer living standards, through her Science for Society team,’s innovative idea of selling dehydrated vegetable snacks.

6. Anupriya Balikai’s Spookfish Innovations has created a standard for products and ensure quality control for food packaging. Via inspection machines that are retrofitted and integrated into existing manufacturing lines

7. Kalpana Sankar, with a double doctorate in Nuclear Physics and Gender Issues, through her organization Hand in Hand is empowering the most marginalised and impoverished women in India through capacity building and training.

8. Khushboo Jain created ImpactGuru which is a crowdfunding platform that empowers individuals,NGOs and social enterprises, by helping them raise funds for healthcare, social, and personal needs, from family, friends as well as strangers.

9. Sneha Sundaram’s company Kutuki focuses on bridging the learning gap that exists in Indian pre-schools through their mobile application, which has garnered over 50,000 users till date and attempts to use data to

10. Jayanti Pradhan is an agro-processor and farmer from Odisha who has been educating women in her community and equipping them with the tools and knowledge of mushroom farming to enable them to become financially independent.

11. Jugnu Jain is the founder and CSO, of Sapien Biosciences which is addressing this need for tissue-banks in India by successfully using medical waste to create medical innovations.

12. Pratyusha Pareddy founded her startup, NemoCare, in 2017. Her company aims to combat infant mortality and promote neonatal care.

13. Poonam Bir Kasturi started the Daily Dump which is building products and services for decentralised waste management in homes, community offices and public spaces.

14. Ruchi Jain founded Taru Naturals which focuses on sustainable agriculture, striving to empower a network of small-scale farmers by leveraging upon India’s ancient wisdom and sustainable agricultural practices

15. Sujata Sahu’s 17000 ft Foundation is a social enterprise focused on providing education and exposure to the communities in the most rural and isolated regions of Ladakh.

16. Dr Praveen Nair is a Founder Trustee of Salaam Baalak Trust that has successfully worked in rehabilitating over 81,000 destitute and homeless children. Ms. Nair received the Special Jury Award.

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