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27 Mar 2019
Seema Mehta Receives Nari Shakti Puraskar 2018 from President of India

Seema Mehta, Director of Chhandam Nritya Bharati, received the Nari Shkti Puraskar 2018, the highest civilian honour for women in India, from the President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind at a special ceremony held in Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi, on March 8, 2019, International Women’s Day. Seema, daughter of Purnima and Kaushik Kirtilal Mehta, was honoured in recognition of her work to empower women through Kathak.

The Puraskar scheme is organised each year by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India to honour women who have put in relentless service towards the cause of women empowerment and social welfare. The 44 winners were selected from among thousands of nominations received, according to the Ministry.

For over 15 years, Seema has been working with communities that do not have access to learning or enjoying the classical arts. This includes children from New Light Foundation in Kolkata's red light district, children from Akanksha and Smile Foundation in Mumbai and children from Sri Sri Ravishankar Vidhyalaya in Dharavi among others. 


"I feel extremely humbled to receive this honour. Classical dance is an empowering art form which allows the practitioner to express ideas in a very unique way. I am fortunate to be able to work in the field of education and preservation of this art form. This day and every day, I am grateful to my parents and my Guruji for giving me the strength to choose my life's path," said Seema Mehta.

As Director at Kirtilals, Seema also works closely with many women from less advantaged communities to empower them by encouraging the company to give them important roles in the field of jewellery making and sales.

Seema's vision is to make classical art accessible to all and bring about policy change to make Arts Literacy a part of mainstream education. 

Click here to view video of Seema Mehta receiving the award 

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