BY ANUJ RADIA
Award winning author, film producer and female empowerment champion Twinkle Khanna was amongst ten coveted winners at the 34th annual FICCI Women’s Group FLO (FICCI Ladies Organisation) Awards, which took place at the Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi in the presence of Guest of Honour President Ram Nath Kovind.
Twinkle was awarded the FLO Icon Award for Excellence in Conscientious Cinema as a reflection of her endeavours to raise awareness of menstrual hygiene, as co-producer of this year’s silver screen smash hit Pad Man.
Other notable award recipients included Ms Missile Scientist Dr Tessy Thomas, Director, Advanced Systems Laboratory, Namita Gokhale, Author & Director of the Jaipur Literature Festival and Falguni Nayar, Founder & CEO of the beauty empire NYKAA.
Releasing worldwide in February 2018, Pad Man created a wave of intrigue across the globe thanks to its unconventional take on the menstrual hygiene crisis in India. Starring Bollywood heavyweights such as Akshay Kumar, Pad Man was written by R. Balki and co-produced by Twinkle through her production company, Mrs Funnybones.
The film received critical acclaim internationally and was commended for providing an entertaining, yet educating and emotive comedic masterpiece, citing the struggles faced by menstruating women in India.
With statistics showing that menstruation leads to 20% of girls dropping out of education and 10% of girls in India believing it is a disease, Pad Man sought to raise awareness and destroy the stigma attached to the subject.
Twinkle’s unrelenting commitment to tackling prominent social issues, using her credentials as a producer, author and all-round activist, has resulted in her being recognised as one of the most distinguished female empowerment champions in India.
The FLO award marks the latest accolade for Twinkle, who enjoyed a successful 2017 in which she was presented with the Celebrity Pioneer Award at the United Nations Headquarters in New York and was named India Today’s Women Writer of the Year.
Her second book the Legend of Lakshmi Prasad selling over 100,000 copies and pitching in at number two on the Amazon bestseller list for Indian female authors.
Speaking about her award, Twinkle Khanna said:
“I am extremely honoured to receive such a prestigious award, and to join an illustrious list of some truly awe-inspiring female entrepreneurs whom have celebrated this accolade in years gone by.
“The FICCI Ladies Organisation has been superbly representing females for decades, and this award is a fitting commendation to recognise the hard work and success of women all over the country.
“Pad Man was a huge success, and I am very proud of the global reaction the film received. The film is more than a movie, it is a movement.
We set out with the aim to start a conversation on menstrual hygiene to implement change – and we are thrilled not only about the discussions it triggered but the impact we have been seeing on ground.
However, our work is not done, and there are still mountains to climb and boundaries to demolish before we can say that we have completely destroyed the taboo and stigma surrounding menstrual hygiene.”
FLO (FICCI Ladies Organisation) was established in 1983 as a division of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), which is the apex body of industry and commerce in India.
The FLO Awards were created with a view to recognising the achievements of women who have excelled in their own fields and have subsequently established themselves as inspirational icons in their societies.
FLO represent over 5000 female entrepreneurs and professionals and with over 34 years of experience have been promoting the entrepreneurial excellence of women though workshops, seminars, conferences, training and building programmes.
Previous winners have included Chanda Kochlar, Chief Executive office, ICICI Bank and fashion mogul Ms. Anita Dongre.
Immense congratulations to Twinkle Khanna aka Mrs Funny Bones!