Meera Panjwani, Rotary Club of Ankleshwar, Gujarat
Meera started Rotary Women Empowerment Centre a few years ago to help needy women from socially disadvantaged families learn stitching clothes and earn their livelihoods. Many women in the locality wanted to learn to tailor but couldn’t afford the classes. So she set up a centre with 35 sewing machines and two full-time trainers who have so far trained more than 700 women. They stitch school uniforms, salwar-kameez, blouses, and make a monthly income of about Rs 5,000–6,000. One of the main sources of income for them was stitching school uniforms for children which came to an abrupt halt during lockdown when the schools were shut, so Meera took special permission from the Government of Gujarat to reopen the centre and stitch face masks for frontline health workers and people on Covid duty. The centre distributed more than 51,000 masks to government official, police and contract labourers.
Vaishali Bhagwat, District Literacy Committee Chair, Pune
Vaishali, an advocate by profession in Pune is executing an innovative project to empower deserted and divorced women. It may be mentioned that very often courts grant relief to deserted women or those undergoing a divorce, through an order for maintenance, but the men simply refused to pay the money.
The result is that women spend anywhere between 3-20 years knocking on the doors of the courts to get the money that has been legally been granted to them. Very often men conceal their actual income to pay as little as possible. To overcome this Vaishali started a project called Swayam Siddha to train the women to earn a decent income and support their children instead of waiting endlessly for the maintenance amount which may never come or get delayed beyond imagination.
Shashi Aggarwal, Rotary Club of Faridabad Tulips and Rotary Club of Delhi South Central
Shashi Aggarwal has shown exemplary courage by not only donating plasma thrice in the past few months but also motivating others to come forward and do the same, saving 497 lives to date. Shashi Aggarwal was found to be COVID 19 positive after returning from a business trip to Spain.
It took 15 days for her to recover and get discharged from the hospital. The very next month she got a call from the hospital saying that they needed the plasma of a Covid recovered person to give life to a 49-year-old male who was on the ventilator and the doctors had given up hope. The doctors wanted to experiment with convalescent plasma therapy, which uses blood from a person who has just recovered from an illness. Within four days of being administered with plasma, the patient was off the ventilator and discharged from the hospital within a week -fully recovered. It was the 1st successful plasma therapy in India.