Saluting the spirit of women of India, the We Women Want Festival was held at Razzberry Rhinoceros at Juhu Hotel in Mumbai on 18th March 2023. Marking the second edition of the We Women Want Shakti Awards, the event honoured women achievers from all walks of life. From women military officers to top lawyers and business leaders, the event was an ode to the indomitable spirit of the women of India. The festival was graced by the august presence of Hon’ble Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis who felicitated the winners of the Shakti Awards 2023. Mr Fadnavis spoke about the Prime Minister’s vision of women-led development. ‘Mudra loan statistics show that maximum loans have been given out in Maharashtra and maximum have been given to women’. On Women’s safety, he said, ‘We have changed the laws to make work at night safer for women’ adding that Mumbai is the safest city for women.
The event was also attended by women achievers in music, cinema and OTT including luminaries like Anuradha Paudwal, Rasika Dugal and Priyanka Chahar. Paudwal spoke about her musical journey, ‘My father did not support my singing in the industry in the beginning but it was my mother who wanted me to sing just one song, that is how I began’. Dugal spoke about how she derives her ‘Shakti’ from her absolute dedication to her work which gives her strength. Chahar spoke about her humble beginnings, ‘My father despite his reservations supported me when I decided to enter the industry and that is when I supported my family when times were tough.’ she said. The panel discussions included courageous stories of women naval officers, inspiring stories of acid attack survivors and heart-rending discussions on breaking stereotypes with women rickshaw drivers, dabba waali and fisherwomen. India’s leading women chefs, doctors, designers and nutritionists also spoke about women’s health and the stereotypes they have to battle.
Smt. Shakti Sharma, Trustee, iTV Foundation and the Hon’ble Mayor of Ambala also felicitated the award winners. Smt. Sharma said, ‘This festival honoured inspiring women who have been trailblazers for countless Indians. It represents and honours their invaluable contributions.’ Aishwarya Pandit Sharma, Chairperson of the iTV Foundation said, ‘This festival celebrates women, their achievements, their dreams, their hopes and their courage. It brings together women from diverse backgrounds and we can see how their stories are similar yet completely unique.’
Rajya Sabha MP and promoter of iTV Network Kartikeya Sharma spoke about the initiative and how ‘We Women Want’ is an initiative to showcase women’s undefeatable spirit through stories of their grit and resilience and how it is a campaign to showcase inspirational journeys. ‘We hope this community which we endeavour to build will grow leaps and bounds and we will be joined by several tenacious women and their stories of courage’, Sharma said.
The day-long festival was telecast live on NewsX throughout the day with repeat telecasts scheduled over the weekend.