Dr. Durgabai Deshmukh Award for Women’s Development


Swami Vivekananda had said, “All nations have attained greatness by paying proper respect to women. A country and a nation which does not respect women has never become rich.” 

Hon’ble President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee presented the “Dr. Durgabai Deshmukh Award for Women’s Development” to the four organizations today.

Dr Durgabai Deshmukh was a Parliamentarian, an institution builder and a pioneer in social development. She was the first Chairperson of the Central Social Welfare Board. As a Member of the Planning Commission, she endeavored to integrate the element of social development into the planning process. For this task, she set up the Council for Social Development as a platform for generating new ideas and for research and field experiments in social development.

Dr. Durgabai believed that “In the field of social welfare, the Government alone cannot initiate and carry out all the necessary measures for its citizens. Nor can it alone see to the preventive services that keep a society healthy. Only when spontaneous, dedicated work springs from the very soil it is linked with, can national efforts have real depth and meaning”.

The organizations who have received awards today have distinguished themselves through their outstanding contribution to society.

The Mizoram Widows Association, the Peoples Forum Association, the Sumangali Sewa Ashram in Bangalore and the Snehalaya of Ahmednagar, Maharashtra have brought hope and dignity to women and children who need the support of Government and society. They have given a new direction to the lives of disadvantaged sections of our society including widows, destitute women and abandoned and underprivileged children.

They have worked in difficult and remote parts of the country rescuing and rehabilitating the exploited. They have given the gift of education to the deprived and underprivileged among them – and helped them to be self-reliant through vocational training, micro-credit and other assistance.