Over the last 10 years, Delhi based NGO – ‘AAS’ – has been instrumental in fostering women empowerment, leadership and love, in the process becoming an active change agent in varied spheres of society. The NGO, in support of Cervical Cancer awareness and Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao drive organised the first edition of – AAS Excellence Awards 2016- at Kamani Auditorium, New Delhi recently. The intention was to bring together collective minds, share inspiring life stories, talents and resources and celebrate the success of men and women in different spheres of life. Well-known Delhi chartered accountant Virendra Kumar Goel, whose wife Varsha Goel is the president of the NGO, was the convener of the function.
The awards function was attended by more a thousand people which included businessmen, politicians, artists, celebrities, bureaucrats, media personalities and socialites. Vijay Goel, Minister of Youth affairs and Sports was the chief guest of the function. The guests of honour were Sriprakash Jaiswal (ex union coal minister), Shallu Jindal (socialite and Kuchipudi dancer), Joyshree Arora (film actress and TV personality), Ustad Shamsher Singh Mehndi (a sufi singer and Daler Mehndi and Mika Singh’s guru), Sanjay Dalmia, (chairman of Dalmia Group of Industries), Sasha Agha (Bollywood actress), Saroj Bhartia (entrepreneur and socialite), Arvind Gaur (theatre guru) and Sandeep Marwah (media personality).
Seventeen people (15 females and two males) from diverse backgrounds were presented with the ‘AAS Excellence Award 2016’ for their contribution to their respective field and the society. The awardees were Cancer surgeon – Dr Anshuman Kumar, Padma Shri awardee and singer – Usha Uthup, playback singer – Vinod Rathod, Padma Shri awardee and Kathak dancer – Shovana Narayan, television actress – Ekta Tiwari, Padma Shri Kathak Duo – Nalini and Kamalini, Alka Sinha, Guinness record holder and beauty expert – Ishika Taneja, astrologer and vaastu expert – Jai Madaan, television actress Seema Pandey, theatre veteran – Shilpi Marwaha, Rajkumari Devi (Kisaan Chachi), Padma Shri awardee and mountaineer – Santosh Yadav, Ranjan Saffar, Prachi Behrani and playback singer – Tripti Shakya. Yesteryear popular Bollywood actress, Salma Agha was presented with the lifetime achievement award.
The awards function was also high on entertainment. Awardees Usha Uthup and Vinod Rathod entertained the audience by singing some of their popular songs. A nukkad natak – ‘Dastak’ was also staged by Asmita theatre group. The play consisted of more than 60 participants! This play was the highest point of the event as it described the situation of girls and women in today’s world. It was certainly a befitting tribute to Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao campaign.