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Selvi receives WCD First Lady Achievement award from President

Monday, Jan 22, 2018,18:00 IST By anju A A A

New Delhi | Selvi, South India’s first woman taxi driver received the ‘First Lady’ award from President Ram Nath Kovind and Union Minister of Women and Child Development, Maneka Gandhi.

The Bengaluru-based professional driver was one of the 112 women who were conferred with the WCD First Ladies Achievement Award for being the first to set a milestone in their respective fields.

Selvi hopes the honour will inspire millions of other girls and women to make a mark for themselves in the society.

“A single lamp might seem small and insignificant In the beginning.
That’s what my taxi company seemed like in the beginning. Yet that same lamp can also bring light millions, in the same way, the small things I learnt, and the small steps I took years ago, with hard work and honesty, is being honoured by the President of India today,” she said in a statement.

President Kovind said the recognition is important as progress of women is a barometer for the development in any society.

“We are witnessing positive change in participation of women in our country. Yet, due to prejudiced mindsets, women are still victims of violence. They need to feel secure in public places, and this should be a matter of concern for all of us. Along with the government, it is the responsibility of every section of society,” he said.

Gandhi said it is inspiring to see how these ‘First Ladies’ overcame various challenges to break the norms and create a niche for themselves in the society.

“Keeping up with the solemn spirit of Empowered Nari, the ministry conceptualised ‘First Ladies’. These First Ladies rose through barriers, standards and oppressive notions to become the first women to excel in the fields which were thought to be beyond them,” she said.
Selvi was felicitated at Rashtrapati Bhavan on January 20.

Canadian documentary filmmaker Elisa Paloschi, who made “Driving With Selvi” based on Selvi’s life, said she is proud of her achievements.

“I’m inspired by her, having continued on her path of self-empowerment, regardless of the obstacles. I’m honoured that she shared her story with me, because she hoped that she might inspire even just a single girl to take that first step,” she said.

Selvi was forced into marriage at the age of 14 and she ran away at the age of 18 to escape an abusive relationship.

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