An Indian environmental engineer has won this year’s prestigious ‘Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards’ here for providing women working on farms with water management solutions and protecting small farmers against droughts and flash floods. Trupti Jain, 46, was one among the six winners chosen for the Asia-Pacific laureate from a pool of nearly 1,900 applicants from over 120 countries and were selected by an independent international jury.
Each recipient receives a USD 100,000 prize money as well as a year of mentoring. Jain, an Indian government employee for two decades in the rural development, has worked for women farmers whose work frequently go unrecognised. “I didn’t expect it, but I am so proud of what my team has achieved and I am happy I was so determined to reach my goal,” Jain said. “I hope to use the prize money to scale up the business as well as create a certification programme for women, so their skills and indigenous knowledge will be recognised,” she was quoted as saying by ‘The Straits Times’.
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Jain started Naireeta Services in 2013, providing handmade water management solutions that enable small farmers to filter and store rainwater underground to protect them against droughts and flash floods. Her Gujarat-based company has already implemented 232 systems in India, directly benefiting 18,000 small farmers and indirectly helping more than 100,000 of the rural poor.
Jain was presented the award on Wednesday at a function held at the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall. It was the first time the awards ceremony was held outside France since it began in 2006 to supports women entrepreneurs around the world who want to kick-start their business. “We recognise the gender gap that still exists today and, for us, the awards are a chance to recognise and reward the work of women entrepreneurs who have created businesses that are real drivers of change in their communities,” said Cyrille Vigneron, chief executive Cartier International.
Five other winners, representing Latin America, North America, Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Middle East and North Africa, were also honoured at the awards ceremony.