Deepa Pawar and Shaheen Women’s Resource and Welfare Association, the two winners were felicitated at the 5th Martha Farrell Award Ceremony on 20th November, along with Special Jury Awardees, Suman Devathiya and Sappho for Equality.
Shabana Azmi is an internationally renowned film and theatre actress. She is also a greatly respected social activist. As Chairperson of Nivara Hakk, she has worked for the rights of slum dwellers in Mumbai for the last 30 years. She undertook a five-day hunger strike and courted arrest demanding alternative accommodation for a slum that had been demolished. The government was forced to agree. Nivara Hakk in a tripartite agreement between the government, a private builder and itself, and has built homes for 50000 slum dwellers for free.
As Chair of Mijwan Welfare Society, Shabana works for the rights of girls and women. She is opposed to religious fundamentalism of all hues, and is highly respected as a progressive liberal activist. She is a former member of the Rajya Sabha, the Upper House in India's Parliament. She is a recipient of the International Gandhi Peace Prize and has been given countless awards for her work both as an actor and activist.
Kamla Bhasin is an eminent gender equality activist, social scientist and author, actively engaged in issues of gender equality, peace and human rights since 1970. She is an Advisor of Sangat, a feminist network; the South Asia coordinator of One Billion Rising Campaign; Co-President of Peace Women Across the Globe; and one of the founders of Jagori Delhi and Jagori Grameen, Himachal Pradesh.
Kamla believes in a form of advocacy that combines feminist theory and community action. She has always maintained that in order to usher effective change, sloganeering must be accompanied by community mobilization. She rejects the notion that feminism is a Western concept, stressing that Indian feminism has its roots in its own struggles and tribulations, and according to her men can also be feminists and they should be.
Shubhashish Bhutiani is an Indian film director, actor, screenwriter and script writer. He made his directorial debut in Bollywood with the film Mukti Bhawan, for which he won the National Film Award – Special Jury Award / Special Mention (Feature Film) at 64th National Film Awards. At the age of 21, he wrote and directed Kush, as his thesis film for his undergraduate course at the School of Visual Arts, New York. Set against the backdrop of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, this 25-minute film won him several laurels: an award at the 2013 Venice International Film Festival, the National Film Award for Best Promotional Film (2013) and over 25 international awards. Kush was also shortlisted for the 2014 Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film.
Anuradha Das Mathur is the founding dean of The Vedica Scholars Programme for Women, an 18-month residential program in management practice for young women. She is committed to bringing more women into the workplace and ensuring their dignity through financial independence. She is a senior advisor to the Albright Stonebridge Group and founder director at 9.9 Media, India's fastest growing niche media company.
Anuradha was selected as a Fortune-US State Department Global Emerging Woman Leader in 2009, and as one of 100 Women Achievers by the government in 2015. She is currently a Yale World Fellow selected for her role as a globally engaged leader. She set up the Foundation for Working Women in 2014 to focus on professional women's issues. She is a founder at Samarth, which provides care for the elderly. She holds a BA (Honors) degree in economics from Lady Shri Ram College and an MA in economics from Cambridge University, England.
Sushama Nath (IAS, Retd.) was the first female Finance Secretary to the Government of India. A 1974 Madhya Pradesh cadre Indian Administrative Service officer, she also officiated as the Expenditure Secretary. Sushama is reputed to have been a tough negotiator and played a significant role at the finance ministry while reining in profligate ministries and departments during the government's austerity drive. Sushma was a member of the Sixth Central Pay Commission, set up on October 5, 2006 and headed by B.N. Srikrishna. She was also a member of the five-member Fourteenth Finance Commission (for 2015-2020), whose award governs the sharing of taxes between the Centre and States.
Binalakshmi Nepram is a humanitarian, author, and female peace activist for the advocacy of gender rights and women-led disarmament movements with the objective of arresting gun culture and bringing about peace for her home state of Manipur and northeast India. For her contributions to this field to Manipur and northeast India she is known by the epithet "The Face & Voice of North East".
In 2004, Binalakshmi co-established the Control Arms Foundation of India (CAFI) which is the first of its kind in India dealing with conventional disarmament issues. In 2007, she took pioneering action to institute an organization in Manipur to help the many who have suffered due to gun violence. She started the Manipuri Women Gun Survivor Network. She was named by Forbes as one of its "24 Young Minds to Watch out for in 2015", and the Action on Armed Violence of London listed her among the top 100 influential people in the world actively pursuing a reduction in armed violence.
Justice (Retd.) Ajit Prakash Shah is former chief justice of Delhi and Madras High Courts, and a former judge of the Bombay High Court. After retiring as Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court in 2010, Justice Shah was appointed Chairperson of the Broadcast Content Complaints Council (BCCC) and Chairperson of the Law Commission of India. He is the first ever ombudsman of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). He is a specialist in labour and equality issues, and is nationally and internationally considered as one of the boldest jurists India has witnessed in recent times, delivering landmark judgments in matters of societal equality, human rights, individual liberties, and freedom of speech and expression. At present, he serves as a member of the Committee of Experts at the International Labour Organization, Geneva.
Anshul Tewari is an Ashoka Fellow and the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of YouthKiAwaaz.com (YKA), which is India's largest digital platform for young people to share stories and opinions on issues of importance. He has worked across new media and online journalism as a media entrepreneur. YKA currently has over 75,000 contributors and receives over 3 million readers a month. He also serves as a Director on the Board of Collectively, a World Economic Forum and Unilever collaborative non-profit, to help make the future better. He is currently leading the growth and strategic vision of the organization. In 2012, Anshul was named a Young Innovator by the United Nations International Telecom Union for innovation in crowd-sourcing.