Illiterate Dalit woman's battle against liquor wins her award
CHANDIGARH, AUGUST 29: AN ILLITERATE Dalit woman from Tamil Nadu, Yasoda, has been selected as this year's recipient of the prestigious Neerja Bhanot Award for her fight against illicit liquor in Beemanthope village of Tiruvallore district and its surrounding areas.
43-year-old Yasoda is a leader of the Rural Women's Front which has been working for the development of women for the past 16 years in 60 villages of the district. She has been fighting for the eradication of illicit liquor in her village.
Yashoda will get Rs 1,50,000, a trophy and citation. The award will be presented at a special function to be held on September 6. Announcing this here today, honorary secretary of Neerja Bhanot Pan Am Trust, Aneesh Bhanot, said that in spite of being illiterate and poor, Yashoda had succeeded in wiping out the menace of liquor.
He also said that in 1997, the Deputy IGP, Chengelpet Division, had awarded her organisation for preventing brewing of illicit liquor in the area. Yasoda's only child, 20-year-old Indra was hacked to death during a fight with liquor barons.
The Neerja Bhanot Award is given in memory of airhostess, Neerja Bhanot, who gave her life while saving the lives of hundreds of passengers on board a Pan Am aircraft, hijacked at Karachi Airport on September 5, 1986. She is the only woman recipient of India's highest civilian award.