Women nowadays have defied the male-dominated society and civilizations more than ever before. There has been a significant improvement in the current, general approach to women. Year after year, confident, bold, smart, and ambitious women from all across the country breakthrough and roar 'success' in a variety of disciplines. Gone are the days when their position was supposed to be behind the four walls of the house, and their sole responsibility was to care for the domestic matters. They are now seen working side by side with men in many aspects of life.

Honouring Women with Padma Awards

Honouring such extraordinary women from various walks of life, President Ram Nath Kovind presented Padma Awards at the Rashtrapati Bhawan on 8th October, 2021, Monday. Seven Padma Vibhushans, ten Padma Bhushan, and 102 Padma Shri Awards were awarded in 2021, with 29 women and one transgender person among the recipients.

The Padma Awards have been given in a variety of categories, including art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, commerce and industry, medical, literature and education, sports, and civil service.

Padma Bhushan awards were awarded to badminton player P V Sindhu (sports), singer Krishnan Nair Shantakumari Chirta (art), Sumitra Mahajan (public affairs).

Padma Shri awards were awarded to transgender Manjamma Jogati (arts), Rajani Bector (trade and industry), Assam banker Laxmi Baruah (social service), basketball player Dr. Anshu Jamsenpa (sports), Bihar painter Dulari Devi (arts), folk singer Purnamasi Jani (arts), P Anitha (sports).

Other Padma Shri honorees were Bombay-based Carnatic singer Jayashree Ramnath (arts), phulkari artist Lajwanti (arts), Tulasi Gowda (social worker), Jaswantiben Jamnadas Popat (trader and industry), Oinam Bembem Devi (sports), Dr. Padma Bandopadhyay (medicine), and Assam's Dr. Birubala Rabha (social service).

Padma Shri awards were also presented to former governor Mrudula Sinha (literature and education), West Bengal’s Guru Maa Kamali Soren (social work), Kangana Ranaut (art), Hanjaman Ongbi Radhe (arts), athlete Sudha Singh (sports), and Ekta Kapoor (art).

A Glance at Female Padma Awardees Who have Made an Everlasting Impression on the World

P V Sindhu - At the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi, President Ram Nath Kovind presented PV Sindhu with the Padma Bhushan, India's third-highest civilian honour.

In the modern period, PV Sindhu has been one of India's best athletes. The 26-year-old earned a silver medal in women's singles badminton in the 2016 Rio Olympics and then a bronze medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, making her the first Indian woman to win two individual Olympic medals. In 2019, she was also crowned world champion in badminton.

Manjamma Jogati - Matha B Manjamma Jogati, a transgender folk dancer of Jogamma ancestry and the first transwoman President of the Karnataka Janapada Academy, receives the Padma Shri award from President Ram Nath Kovind.

Manjamma was introduced to Kallava Jogathi, where she learned the dance form Jogathi Nrithya (a Jogappa traditional performance) and began performing around the state. She took over the company after Kaalavva's death, and the dance grew more famous.

Manjamma went on to become the first transgender president of the Karnataka Jaanapada Academy, a government organisation dedicated to the performing arts.

Tulasi Gowda – Tulasi Gowda, a 72-year-old tribal woman from Karnataka, was honoured with the Padma Shri award on Monday for her environmental conservation efforts. She received India's fourth-highest civilian honour from President Ram Nath Kovind during a ceremony in New Delhi, barefoot and dressed in traditional clothing.

Tulasi Gowda, a member of Karnataka's Halakki indigenous tribe, grew up in a destitute and impoverished family. Despite never receiving a formal education, she has become known as the “Encyclopedia of the Forest”. This is owing to her in-depth understanding of a wide range of plant and herb species. Since she was 12 years old, she has planted and cared about hundreds of trees.

Dr Padma Bandopadhyay - On Monday, Air Marshal Dr. Padma Bandopadhyay (Retd) won the Padma Shri award in the field of medicine, the country's fourth-highest civilian honour. Bandopadhyay was the first woman in the Indian Air Force to be promoted to Air Marshal.

Sushma Swaraj - Former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj honoured the Padma Shri posthumously, and President Ram Nath Kovind presented the award to her daughter Bansuri Swaraj during the ceremony in Delhi.

Bembem Devi - The ‘Durga of Indian Football’, Oinam Bembem Devi, became the first Indian woman footballer and the seventh overall to earn the prestigious Padma Shri Award.

These honorees are accomplished women who have shattered glass ceilings, pushed the boundaries of female leadership, and paved the way for other women and girls to follow in their footsteps and become future empowered women.

Women Conquering Diverse Fields

India has a highly successful and competent female judge, administrators, physicians, attorneys, engineers, and police officers. They have proved, by their lives and work, as well as their leadership in governance, diplomacy, social norm change, and political game shifting for the gender equality and women's empowerment causes, that women make a difference—not just a minor but crucial impact. They have become tremendous role models for their women and girls, as well as men and boys, and serve as an inspiration to people from all over the world, spanning nations, regions, and generations.

Women voices are heard in the development, peace and security, humanitarian action and resilience building, human rights promotion and protection, and climate change action policies and programmes at the local, national, and international levels. They have demonstrated that when a woman's voice is heard, when she participates in decision making, and when she exerts leadership, she most likely adds something unique, exceptional, and of great value and quality to major decisions and their impact on humanity's most important initiatives.

In India, women now moving towards equal access to education, the service industry, sports, the media, science and technology, politics, and other fields. Indira Gandhi, the world’s longest-serving female Prime Minister, served as India’s Prime Minister for fifteen years. It only goes to show that when given the chance, women have demonstrated that they can rise to any challenge.