JKYog Global International Women’s Day Awards 2021: Nominations Open


To celebrate perseverance despite odds and the accomplishments of remarkable women across the world and to support more women pathbreakers in every field, JKYog launches the Global International Women’s Day Awards coinciding with the 110th anniversary of International Women’s Day. JKYog was established by global spiritual leader, mind management authority and bestselling author Swami Mukundananda to spread the knowledge of Yoga as per the Vedic scriptures for the physical, mental, and spiritual upliftment of humanity.

IWDA – Honorees

Nominations are open for emerging women youth leader awards, lifetime achievement awards (40+ years of contribution) and women in leadership awards under the following categories:

  • Social Leadership

  • Business Leadership

  • Environmentalist

Women can nominate themselves or be nominated by others. Nominations will be accepted until Mar 12th, 2021.

All nominees need to submit the following 3 documents in word format iwdawards@jkyog.org.

  • A 200-word summary of the nominee’s contribution in their chosen area of excellence

  • A Detailed Resume.

  • Seperate document for honors, awards, and publications

In addition, the honorary awardees of repute this year are “Mother of Orphans“, Ms. Sindhutai Sapkal, Indian social worker and social activist; and Dr. Swati Mohan, Guidance Controls and Operations Lead for the NASA Mars 2020 Mission (Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California), which successfully landed Perseverance, the latest Mars Rover.

About the Awardees

Sindhutai Sapkal, recipient of more than 750 national and international awards for her work to uplift the destitute people, has a heart rending yet inspirational story. Her husband tortured and left her for dead in a cow-shed while she was pregnant to term. There under the shelter of a cow, she gave birth to a child and cut the umbilical cord with a stone after 16-17 tries. Turned away by her own parents, she then took shelter in a cremation ground and was going to give up her life when she heard the cries of a destitute beggar who had nobody and was about to die of hunger. She says that in helping that beggar to survive, she realized that when one feels badly about oneself one must help others to find joy again. She then took on many orphans under her wing and gave up her biological child to a trust for fear that she would be partial to her own blood and in doing so may neglect her duty to the orphans. Despite having only studied until grade 4, she was able to purchase land and build a state-of-the-art facility for children, providing food, clothing, shelter, and education, through money from awards. Today she has nurtured over 1050 orphaned children, towards a successful, productive life. She passionately speaks in a TED talk, “One must live life for others and meet obstacles bravely instead of running from them because there is no other way to live life.” Particularly admirable is the fact that she bears no bitterness towards her husband who ironically came to her in his old age seeking shelter. She calls him her “naughtiest child“.

Swami Mukundananda

Swami Mukundananda speaks of Sindhutai Sapkal in glowing terms in his Mind Management Challenge: “This Sindhutai Sapkal, the mother of the orphans is a blazing example of someone who externally was facing such hardships but lifted her own thoughts, enriched her own mind to lead such a wonderful life. That is why I say, there is a huge difference between the quality of your living and the quality of your life. The quality of your living is determined by the external opulence. The quality of your life is determined by your inner thoughts. Our Vedic scriptures have repeatedly emphasized the importance of the mind.”

Dr. Swati Mohan, an Indian American NASA scientist confirmed the touchdown of the Mars Rover Perseverance – the culmination amid the challenges of a pandemic of over eight years of hard work and sacrifices of time with family – to ensure the Mars Rover follows the correct trajectory for a safe landing without damaging the equipment used for gathering information about the red planet.

Swati completed her bachelor’s degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Cornell University. She followed it up with a Masters’ and PhD in Aeronautics/Astronautics from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). She has been a past chapter officer of the Hindu Students Council at Cornell. Ever sporting a bindi (a red mark on the forehead Indian women wear) she mentions that it is a core part of her identity due to her beliefs stemming from knowledge of her Indian heritage. This has become an inspiration for many Indian women around the world, especially those who were bullied as children as Swati was, for wearing bindis.

Reiterating her background as an Indian American raised with strong Indian values, Dr. Mohan pointed to the value and role of diversity in the success of the Perseverance mission, in an interview with Times of India: “I was a year old when my family move from India to the US. I am Indian as much as I am American…. I have to say that in my perspective JPL is incredibly diverse. I am not the only woman of color. I am not the only Indian woman or the only woman or non-binary. Everyone is respectful of each other. And I think that’s part of the reason that Perseverance was able to succeed…I definitely think diversity helps with innovation.” She humbly gives credit to the entire team for the success of the mission.

Commenting on the choice of honorees, JKYog President Shreya Bhat remarked, “JKYog supports and lauds the tremendous value of feminine traits such as compassion, selflessness, forgiveness, humility, emotional intelligence, nurturance, empathy and cooperation in every field. Such traits form the basis of great leadership, foster supportive professional relationships among peers, promote the long-term success of organizations, and create lasting change in communities across the world. It is important to recognize the unique strengths that women bring to the table which have the potential to make the world a better place. JKYog founder Swami Mukundananda inspires us all to overcome obstacles through perseverance while retaining a positive mindset through challenges and we feel that both the honorees this year exemplify those qualities.”

For more details, please visit: www.radhakrishnatemple.net/IWDA. Register before 5th March 2021, to receive further details about award categories and the nomination process.


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