Reported by Sandeep Sahu
Mumbai, Mar 21:
Odisha based journalist Minati Singha received the prestigious Laadli Media and Advertising Award for Gender Sensitivity (LMAAGS) 2013-14 for her feature “Two Gutsy Women Break Glass Ceiling” at a glittering ceremony at the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA) here last evening.
The story for which Minati, Principal Correspondent of The Times of India in Bhubaneswar, won the award profiles two young, jeans clad, bike driving women in Bhubaneswar, who have not only broken into the erstwhile male fiefdom of construction business, but have made a huge success of it.
“It is a great honour to win a national level award. I am really elated, more so because I won the award for my writing on a subject that has always been close to my heart: gender parity. It is a great inspiration and will certainly spur me on to do more meaningful work in this domain in future,” Minati told OST soon after receiving the award.
Minati was among the 13 journalists from across the country, who received the LMAAGS in various categories at the ceremony.
There were a host of awards for ad campaigns that highlighted the gender perspective as well.
This was the eighth edition of the award, instituted by Population First, a Mumbai based organisation working for an end to gender discrimination.
The highlight of the evening was to have been the conferment of the Laadli Award for the Voice of the Century on legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar. But the Bharat Ratna awardee could not make it to the ceremony due to falling health. In her absence, the award was received by her long time compere Harish Bhimani.
But in an acceptance message dipped in emotion and read out by Bhimani in his inimitable voice, the singer who has been called ‘The Nightingale of India’, said; “I have won many awards in my life. But this one will rank right up there because whatever I am today was because I was my father Hridyanath Mangeshkar’s Laadli. Many people call me Lata Didi. But I will be very happy if they start calling me Lata Laadli from now on.”
The absence of Lata, however, created the grounds for a rare occasion when two legends of Indian broadcasting and anchoring Amin Sayani and Harish Bhimani came together on the stage. There was a poignant moment when Bhimani, as he led the ageing Grand Old of Indian Broadcasting off the stage, said; “When I started my career as a broadcaster, Amin Sayani ji lent me a lot of support. Today, I have the privilege of lending him support.”
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Phadnavis, the chief guest on the occasion, made a reference to this rare happening in his speech.
He also referred to the “Bhagyalakshmi” scheme launched by his government under which an amount of Rs 21, 000 would be deposited into the account of every BPL family in which a daughter is born. “The amount can be used at any stage for the girl’s education, marriage or any emergency,” he said.