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From bomb-blast survivor to water crusader, meet the women who took over PM’s social media accounts today

As Prime Minister signed off from his social media accounts on Sunday, women achievers took over the handles followed by millions to share their life stories with the rest of the world on Women's Day. 

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: March 8, 2020 7:43:09 pm
international women's day, women's day pm modi twitter handle, narendra modi, pm modi social media, indian express Malvika Iyer, Arifa, Kalpana Ramesh — three of the seven women who are handling the social media accounts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Women’s Day.

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi signed off from his social media accounts Sunday, women achievers took over the handles to share their life stories with the rest of the world on International Women’s Day.

Sending out greetings on Twitter in the morning, PM Modi said, “We salute the spirit and accomplishments of our Nari Shakti. As I’d said a few days ago, I’m signing off. Through the day, seven women achievers will share their life journeys and perhaps interact with you through my social media accounts.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday interacted with the recipients of Nari Shakti award and urged them to pitch in to eradicate malnutrition in India and conserve water. Speaking with 14 of the 15 awardees at his official residence, PM Modi said women were major contributors towards the nation’s development.

Meet the women achievers:

Sneha Mohadoss, ‘Foodbank India’ founder

The first among them was Chennai-based Sneha Mohados, founder of the non-profit organisation ‘Foodbank India’. In her quest to spread awareness on the need to eradicate hunger, she appealed people to feed at least one needy person and ensure that no food is wasted.

Explained: Women’s Day has its history in the labour movement

She said that she started the initiative called Foodbank India after being inspired by her mother who “instilled the habit of feeding the homeless”.

Malvika Iyer, bomb-blast survivor and disability activist

The second in line was Malvika Iyer, who survived a bomb attack at the age of 13. Although the blast blew off her hands and damaged her legs, she went on to earn a PhD. A disability activist and motivational speaker, Malvika tweeted from PM’s handle: “Giving up is never an option. Forget your limitations and take on the world with confidence and hope.”

Follow International Women’s Day 2020 LIVE Updates here

According to her, acceptance is the greatest reward one can give to oneself. “We can’t control our lives but we surely can control our attitude towards life. At the end of the day, it is how we survive our challenges that matters most,” she wrote. Moved by the PM’s decision to broadcast her views on Women’s Day, she said that she now believes that India is on the right way forward “in dismantling age-old superstitions regarding disability”.

Arifa, an artisan from Kashmir

Arifa, a craftswoman from Kashmir, who has been toiling to improve conditions of women artisans, said the prime minister’s gesture has boosted her morale.

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“This gesture by PM @narendramodi has boosted my morale and it’ll help me to work harder for the betterment of craft as well as the artisans all over Kashmir,” she wrote adding that she feels it is important for more women to become independent.

Kalpana Ramesh, water warrior

Kalpana Ramesh, the fourth woman to tweet from PM Modi’s handle, gave out a powerful message on water conservation urging people to use water responsibly. A Hyderabad-based architect, who advocates water conservation through rainwater harvesting, she asserted, “Be a warrior but of a different kind! Be a water warrior.” She added that each of us can collectively act to create a water-secure future for the next generation.

Vijaya Pawar, craftswoman from Madhya Pradesh

Vijaya Pawar is another craftswoman promoting the art of Banjara community of rural Madhya Pradesh along with the help of thousands of other women.

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Sharing that she is fully dedicated to the preservation of the art and feels proud on the occasion of Women’s Day, pawar said praised that PM Modi not only encouraged them, but also extended financial aid to them.

While signing off from his accounts, PM Modi on Sunday morning lauded Indian women achievers across the world saying that their struggles and aspirations motivate millions. India has outstanding women achievers in all parts of the nation, he added. “These women have done great work in a wide range of sectors. Their struggles and aspirations motivate millions. Let us keep celebrating the achievements of such women and learning from them. #SheInspiresUs.”

Veena Devi, fondly known as ‘Mushroom Mahila’

Veena Devi, fondly known as ‘Mushroom Mahila’ for popularizing mushroom cultivation, was one of the awardees. Devi, 43, is a mushroom grower and was ‘sarpanch’ of Dhauri Panchayat, Tetiabamber block for five years. She has trained farmers on mushroom farming, organic farming, vermin-compost production, organic insecticide preparation at home.

Devi has been awarded for popularising mushroom production in five blocks and 105 neighbouring villages in Munger district, impacting 1,500 women.  She has been involved in spreading digital literacy and was awarded for training 700 women on how to use mobile phones by Tata Trusts.

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