Dear ILites, There are number of Indian women who have surmounted their difficulties and problems. Government of India and other organisations have installed awards in recognition of such women who are known as Women Achievers of India. I am sharing with you their life sketches here which should inspire and motivate young ILites who are in despair with problems. Government of India, at the instance of Shrimati Sumitra Mahajan, Minister of State of Women and Child Development, has decided to recognize and honour the services of such women who have made outstanding contributions in the life of the nation. This will encourage them further to carry on their work, and to motivate and inspire hundreds of such voluntary women workers throughout the country. Five National Awards, to be known as Stree Shakti Puraskars, were instituted in 1999, in the name of five illustrious daughters of India - Kannagi, Mata Jijabai, Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar, Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi and Rani Gaindiliu. Each award shall be presented annually and shall carry a cash prize of rupees one lakh and a citation in scroll. The awards shall be given every year for outstanding contributions made by five women. Adarsha Mata Puraskar (Since 1976): When the head of the family, who had occupied the highest position like the Diwan or the Chief Justice in the then Indian Princely states, passed away prematurely, the traditionally trained housewife rose to the occasion and shouldered the onerous responsibility of bringing up her children in a novel way and thus fulfill the unfinished desire of her husband of imparting vocational guidance and support for career development. This she did by starting a home industry and gradually handed the responsibility to her teenager sons who were still students. This is the story of Matoshri Maisaheb Parkhe who was a woman of surprising foresight and conviction for her times. This story has inspired many a Women Entreprenuers. "Adarsha" means Ideal and "Mata" means Mother in Marathi. This Puraskar was instituted with a feeling of indebtedness and express gratitude towards such women with great conviction and who have strived hard under adverse conditions to shoulder the responsibility of the family. To make her children happy and successful in life and ultimately good and responsible citizens of the society. It aims to recognize their enormous sacrifice, conviction and to thank them. The felicitation includes and certificate of honour, a memento and a cash portion. The life sketch of the Awardee Mother is presented to the audience and willing family members also speak at the occasion. It is a short and brief function, an effort targeted towards encouraging, recognising and felicitating such good elements in society. Life sketch of Mrs. K.V. Rabiya: Mrs. K.V. Rabiya was born in 1966 in a poor Muslim family in a remote village, Vellilakkadu in the backward district of Malappuram in Kerala. She lost the use of her legs when she was a first year student at the College, but despite the handicap she has built up a movement of community service and has spearheaded a strong adult literacy campaign in Kerala. She started her own voluntary organisation called CHALANAM that was at the forefront of universal literacy campaign in Kerala. CHALANAM is also running five schools for physically handicapped and mentally retarded children in Malappuram District. Apart from the literacy camps, Mrs. Rabiya has conducted a number of awareness classes for women and also organised health camps and blood and eye donation camps. Mrs. Rabiya has inspired awareness against alcoholism, dowry, family feuds, superstition and communalism. A documentary film 'Rabiya Moves' and more than hundred articles published in newspapers and journals have highlighted her contribution in changing the social life of Kerala. Her continuing successful and unparalleled literacy mission along with the various services for welfare and development of women has earned Mrs. K.V. Rabiya the Kannagi Stree Shakti Puraskar, 1999.