Ministry of Women and Child Development
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Nari Shakti Puraskars honour Specially Abled Kathak Dancer, First Woman Snake Rescuer and Social Entrepreneur from Maharashtra

Posted On: 08 MAR 2022 12:24PM by PIB Mumbai

New Delhi / Mumbai, 08th March 2022

Three women from Maharashtra have been honoured with Nari Shakti Puraskars, given by the Government of India to honour eminent women and institutions rendering distinguished service to the cause of women, especially belonging to the vulnerable and marginalized sections of the society.

The three awardees from Maharashtra are:

  • Saylee Nandkishor Agavane (Nari Shakti Puraskar for 2020)
  • Vanita Jagdeo Borade (Nari Shakti Puraskar for 2020)
  • Kamal Kumbhar (Nari Shakti Puraskar for 2021)

The awards have been presented by the President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind, at a special ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi, on International Women’s Day today. A total of 29 outstanding individuals received the awards today. The presentation ceremony can be watched here. Here is the full list of awardees and here are their profiles.

Saylee Nandkishor Agavane – Specially Abled Kathak Dancer


Saylee Nandkishor Agavane has been awarded Nari Shakti Puraskar 2020 for her excellence in promoting Indian Classical Dance internationally, despite hardships.

Agavane, who was born with Down Syndrome, started learning Kathak against all odds, from the age of nine. Since then, she has performed in more than 100 dance programmes and events. She also teaches dance to around 50 children who suffer from ‘Down Syndrome’.

Earlier, Ministry of State, Social Justice and Empowerment has awarded her with ' SPANDAN National Award ' under ‘The Best Individual Person with Disability (Female) - 2012' category.

Vanita Jagdeo Borade – First Woman Snake Rescuer

Vanita Jagdeo Borade has been awarded Nari Shakti Puraskar 2020 for her exemplary efforts in wildlife conservation, particularly by rescuing snakes and also for creating awareness.

She is the first woman snake rescuer. She has rescued and released over 50,000 snakes so far and is known as the ‘Snake Friend’. Indian Postal Department has honored her by releasing a postal stamp. Maharashtra Government has awarded her with ‘The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vanashri Puraskar’.

She is also the founder of ‘Soyre Vanchare Multipurpose Foundation’ that works toward nature and wildlife protection.

Kamal Kumbhar – Social Entrepeneur

Kamal Kumbhar, a social entrepreneur receives Nari Shakti Puraskar 2021 for her contribution in promoting women's entrepreneurship in the field of animal husbandry.



She has helped over 5,000 women to start micro businesses. She is the founder of 'Kamal Poultry & Ekta Sakhi Producer Company' that has helped more than 3,000 women in drought-prone Osmanabad region. She has also established poultry operations for premium chicken species.

She has also been trained as a 'Energy Sakhi' in the Pune-based NGO Swayam Shikshan Prayog’s ‘Women in Clean Energy Programme' and she was instrumental in lighting up more than 3,000 houses with solar-powered equipment.

Earlier NITI Aayog honoured her with Women Transforming India Award in 2017. She has also been conferred with 'Cll Foundation Women Exemplar Award'.

Nari Shakti Puraskar

‘Nari Shakti Puraskar’ is an initiative of the Ministry of Women and Child Development to acknowledge the exceptional contribution made by individuals and institutions, to celebrate women as game changers and catalysts of positive change in society. These awards are an effort to recognize women as equal partners in the advancement of society.

The winners of the Nari Shakti Puraskar for the years 2020 and 2021 come from diverse fields such entrepreneurship, agriculture, innovation, social work, arts and crafts, STEMM, wildlife conservation, linguistics, Merchant Navy, education, literature and disability rights.

These achievers have not allowed age, geographical barriers or access to resources to come in the way of fulfilling their dreams. Their indomitable spirit will inspire the society at large and the young Indian minds to break gender stereotypes and stand up against gender inequality and discrimination.


PIB MUMBAI | DJM/Dhanalakshmi/CY

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