Women
The award presented by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development is India’s highest civilian honour for women.

Three Kerala women have been bestowed with this year’s Nari Shakti Puraskar by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development. Nari Shakti Puraskar is touted as the Government of India’s highest civilian honour for women.

President Ramnath Kovind will present the award to Dr Lizymol Philipose Pamadykandathil, Dr MS Sunil and K Syamalakumari from Kerala. The award was presented on Thursday on the occasion of International Women Day. The award was also bestowed upon 39 women and organisations.

The awardees receive a certificate and cash prize of 1 Lakh at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Dr Lizymol Philipose is a scientist with over three decades of service and experience in the field of polymers and biomaterials. She received much appreciation for developing a novel bioactive cement, used in medical treatment. This material has been considered ideal for bone graft, bone filling and osteoporosis treatment. This material is also considered as a cost-effective alternative to expensive materials for dental treatment being imported from abroad.

MS Sunil is a retired zoology professor and has been an active social worker and stands out in her abiding compassion for the deprived. In the past decade, she has built 83 homes for the destitute. Sunil is a one-woman army and has no organization to back up the social service that she has committed her life to. She gets small donations through post and does the rest of the work on her own - from curating money to instructing the construction workers. She continues to give solar lamps, wheel chairs to marginalized people, school stationary to needy children and also helps people who need assistance with emergency operations.

Syamalakumari is the first known female temple mural artist in Kerala. A traditional art that is primarily dominated by men, Syamalakumari has painted, preserved and restored mural arts in the temples of Kerala. Her documentaries have been screened widely.