Chhattisgarh transgender Vidya Rajput has won the South Asia award for driving the world towards gender equality, it was announced on Sunday. The award was given at a function in New Delhi.
The award is named after Kamla Bhasin, feminist icon, poet, author, educationist and a pioneer of the women’s rights movement in South Asia, an official statement said.
Rajput shared the award with Nepal's Natisara Rai, it said.
Vidya Rajput, a transgender, who hails from Bastar region, co-founded the Mitwa Samiti in 2009 to collectivise trans-people, advocate and raise awareness for their rights.
Rajput’s work with Mitwa is rooted in her own life of struggle, hardship and discrimination. Over the years, through advocacy and training Vidya has been able to bring changes in the lives of people and influence state policy, the statement said.
"This award is an encouragement. It will give courage not only to me but also to all people like me," Rajput said.
As many as 64 entries were received from eight countries for the award organized by the Azad Foundation, iPartner India and the National Foundation for India.