Women of calibre do not need favours to be recognised for their work: Smriti Irani
Irani was the chief guest at the ceremony held to honour ITC Limited Chairman & MD Sanjiv Puri with the IMPACT Person of the Year, 2020 title
The exchange4media group on Thursday conferred the IMPACT Person of the Year, 2020 title on Sanjiv Puri, Chairman & MD, ITC Limited. The chief guest at the ceremony was Smriti Irani, Union Minister of Women and Child Development.
Irani delivered a short but powerful speech, hailing the achievements of every Indian, especially the “audacity” of women leaders including the two nominees for the title Anupriya Acharya and Falguni Nayar. Irani observed that women of calibre did not need any favours to be successful or recognised for their work.
“We seek our positions in the sands of time not because it has to be a hand-me-down. We do so because we are women of honour, we are women who deliver professionally, and we are women who stand out from each and every one. So next year, when women nominees are judged, do so without doing us any favours, because the two nominees today are just a reflection of our audacity as Indian women.”
Noting that she’s not a part of the man-hating bunch, Irani continued, “I believe my nation is enriched because we partnered irrespective of our gender. We celebrate 75th year of our independence this year, and we are the only nation in the world that fought many battles, but walked the path of ahimsa to become a free democracy. But when we fought those battles, one of those was fought by a woman who tied her child to her back, climbed on a horse and raised a sword against the enemy as she was followed by men. In folklore and history, she is known as Jhansi ki Rani, but India has been privileged to have had many such women and continues to do so, as we can see from our celebration tonight.”
Expressing her admiration for the nominees for the prestigious award, Irani added, “As we gather to celebrate the IMPACT Person of the year, I also celebrate the impact of each and every Indian at a time when the world is enveloped by a pandemic."
“When the pandemic knocked at the doors of India, the world expressed anguish about how a billion people here survived, while global corporations and CEOs called their colleagues here worried about how we’d feed our poor. But thanks to taxpayer money, the government was able to provide 800 million people with free food for 19 months, deliver 125 crore vaccines as of that day, and gone from being an importer of PPE kits to the world’s second-largest exporter of PPE suits, produced from over 11,000 factories that sprang up within three months of the pandemic, proof of the impact of every Indian,” she added.
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