The ‘We Women Want Festival’ was held in Mumbai on March 18 to salute the spirit of Indian women.
The festival was organised at Razzberry Rhinoceros at Juhu Hotel in Mumbai. Marking the second edition of the ‘We Women Want’ Shakti Awards, the event honoured women achievers from all walks of life.
The festival was graced by the presence of Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis who felicitated the winners of the Shakti Awards 2023. Fadnavis spoke about the Prime Minister’s vision of women-led development.
“Mudra loan statistics show that maximum loans have been given out in Maharashtra and maximum have been given to women,” Fadnavis said. On Women’s safety, he stated, “We have changed the laws to make work at night safer for women”, adding that Mumbai is the safest city for women.
Prime Minister Modi tweeted about the session with the women who had featured on ‘Mann Ki Baat’ for their achievements. “Over the past 98 episodes, #MannKiBaat has showcased inspiring life journeys of grassroots level champions. I would urge you all to know more about them and their hardwork,” the PM’s tweet read.
The event was also attended by women achievers in music, cinema and OTT - including personalities like Anuradha Paudwal, Rasika Dugal and Priyanka Chahar. Paudwal spoke about her musical journey, “My father did not support my singing in the industry in the beginning but it was my mother who wanted me to sing just one song, that is how I began.”
Dugal spoke about how she derives her ‘shakti’ from her absolute dedication to her work which gives her strength. Chahar spoke about her humble beginnings, “My father despite his reservations supported me when I decided to enter the industry and that is when I supported my family when times were tough.”.
The panel discussions included stories of women naval officers, of acid attack survivors, and discussions on breaking stereotypes with women rickshaw drivers, ‘dabba waali’ and fisherwomen. India’s leading women chefs, doctors, designers and nutritionists also spoke about women’s health and the stereotypes they have to battle.
Shakti Sharma, Trustee, iTV Foundation and the Mayor of Ambala also felicitated the award winners. Sharma said, “This festival honoured inspiring women who have been trailblazers for countless Indians. It represents and honours their invaluable contributions.” Aishwarya Pandit Sharma, Chairperson of the iTV Foundation, said, “This festival celebrates women, their achievements, their dreams, their hopes and their courage. It brings together women from diverse backgrounds and we can see how their stories are similar yet completely unique.”
Rajya Sabha MP and promoter of iTV Network, Kartikeya Sharma said, “We hope this community which we endeavour to build will grow leaps and bounds and we will be joined by several tenacious women and their stories of courage.”
The day-long festival was telecast live on NewsX throughout the day with repeat telecasts over the weekend.