Eminent actress Rani Mukerji joined the ranks of esteemed social activists like Anna Hazare, Pratibha Patil, Pandit Jasraj and Mahashweta Devi after she was felicitated with prestigious National Award by National Institute of Gender Justice for her 'Best Representation of the Cause of Safety, Security and Protection of Women and Girl Child' through her film MARDANI directed by Pradeep Sarkar.
On Tuesday dated March 3, Rani Mukerji was felicitated in New Delhi by Sreerupa Mitra Chaudhury, chairperson for the National Institute of Gender Justice.
It may be noted that Rani Mukerji is the first film celebrity to be bestowed with this rare honor. Incidentally, Rani Mukerji, who rocked the nation with her hard hitting performance in MARDANI, was surprisingly denied none of the so called popular awards like Filmfare Awards, Screen Awards, IIFA Awards etc. but she has been awarded an award that is truly laudable.
Elated at receiving the award Rani Mukerji said, “I am extremely overwhelmed by the appreciation because what is stirring is that my film has been cherished by the people who have been tirelessly working for years for the cause of child trafficking and are the real heroes.”
She added, “I feel humbled to meet these people and am glad that I am able to contribute in a small way. This award is special as it recognises my contribution to cinema in a different manner,"
Readers may note that Sreerupa Mitra Chaudhury is herself a genuine women’s rights activist and a renowned crusader fighting for girl child. She is recognized for her courageous rehabilitative actions towards the homeless and abandoned citizens, especially women and children.
Applauding Rani Mukerji’s brilliant performance in the film Sreerupa Mitra Chaudhury said, “In the role of Shivani Shivaji Roy, Rani Mukerji’s epitomise the spirit of the countless involved in this long fight against human trafficking. I feel she symbolizes the pride of uniform and inspire change. That's the reason we decided to felicitate her for excellence in artistic performance."
She further added, “The other reason for awarding Rani Mukerji is that generally films portray women as commodity to sell their films but MARDANI represent women and girl child in a better light and not as a commodity. This award is an endeavour to recognise those agents who want to represent women and girl child in a better light and not commodify them.”