The winners of Devi Awards 2023 held in Kolkata share their heartfelt reactions to receiving the honour and what it means to be a Devi.
Saloni Jhunjhunwalla, Entrepreneur
"I’m very honoured and thrilled to receive the Devi Awards. I think Devi symbolizes many things for a woman because we women make many sacrifices every day and yet continue to be strong and achieve so many things in our lives. It’s because of some power bestowed upon us."
Rimi Nayak, Fashion designer
"I’m really excited and humbled to receive this award. To me, Devi is any woman, or person, as I want to be gender fluid, who can fight all the odds in spite of any difficulties and get over all the different barriers that come in."
Shivika Goenka, Educationist and fashion entrepreneur
" I’m grateful to have received this award. It feels great to do something that positively impacts the lives of children. I think seeing happy children and knowing that you are making a difference in their lives, really mean a lot."
Nilina Deb Lal, Architect and Heritage professional
"I’m delighted to have received this award this evening. Thank You very much to the TNIE Group. I feel it's special because it’s for the people of Calcutta and the city. It’s important that heritage and urban environment be recognised on all platforms. TNIE Group has acknowledged its recognition and appreciated it."
Churni Ganguly, Actor and director
" It has been an honour and I am deeply humbled. As an actor, filmmaker, and writer I feel that art is not just for entertaining, it’s also for making a difference. If only we could write our stories freely and exercise our birthright to the freedom of expression and speech. Sometimes, censorship creates problems for us and we are not able to tell our stories freely. I take this opportunity to urge and appeal to authorities of censorships all over to let us tell our stories about the psychological, social, political, and issues that need to be explored. Please don’t ban books and films. Let the people decide."
Paoli Dam, Actor
"I would like to Thank TNIE for this surprise Devi Award this evening. It’s lovely to see so many women achievers from every field and Devi awards celebrating and felicitating those women who have worked so hard to do something for them and the people around them. For me, a Devi is each and every woman who is trying to do something for herself and her family."
Iman Chakraborty, Singer
" I would like to thank TNIE for giving me this award. It means a lot. I really want to thank all my music directors, family, Ma, Baba, husband, and all my audience. To me, Devi / Debi means my mother."
Tiasa Adhya, Conservationist
" It feels special to receive this award. People who work with nature conservation are a minuscule portion of the general public, almost in a bubble. Such an award gives us a platform to share it with a lot of other people. Devi to me is Mother Earth, the creator and someone worth fighting for."
Sarita Ganeriwala and Sarika Ginodia, Co-founders Karomi
"Thank you for recognising the work that we have been doing via Karomi with handloom and textiles. We have been working with Bengal crafts since 2007. Our work is design-centric and has been quite a challenging journey but rewarding as well. Devi to me is women's empowerment." says Sarita
"Recognition in this field means a shout-out for other designers also who are working in this sector." says Sarika
Jaya Ahsan, Actor
"Thank you TNIE, The Morning Standard, Indulge Kolkata for awarding me and making me a Devi. At the onset, I would like to apologise that I could not attend in person since I am going through a bereavement in the family. I would also like to thank Prabhu Chawla, Manoj Kumar Sonthalia, Neha Periwal, and Kushboo Sundar for bestowing so much honour on me."