Three women of grit win Rs. 1 Lakh each at the 8th TiE-Aspire Young Achievers Awards 2016

Awards conferred during TiE Global Summit 2016, the world’s largest conference for entrepreneurs

Aspire, India’s largest Ivy league education firm providing embedded educational programs for schools, colleges and universities to enhance Employability and Life Skills, in partnership with the world’s largest network of intellectual capital and entrepreneurs, The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), has announced the winners of the TiE- Aspire Young Achievers Award today on the first day of the TiE Global Summit 2016. Now in its eighth year, the TiE- Aspire young achievers award celebrates the determination, courage and hard work of three young achievers who fight against all odds to achieve something commendable and praiseworthy.

This year’s winners are three women from different parts of India who recounted their stories in a candid conversation with Mr. Rohit Bhatia, Managing Director, Aspire, at the TiE Global Summit 2016:

Shweta Katti: Shweta Katti grew up and studied in Asia’s most infamous red-light area, Kamathipura. In 2012, she joined Kranti, an NGO which empowers girls from Mumbai’s red-light areas to become agents of social change. She was named a “25-Under-25 Women to Watch” by Newsweek in 2013. At 18, she became the first girl from an Indian red-light area ever to study abroad, after receiving a full scholarship from Bard College. She has received many awards, including the UN Youth Courage Award for Education. She plans to start a hybrid café/ community centre in Mumbai to empower sex workers and their children.

Bhakti Sharma: Bhakti is Asia’s first and the world’s youngest woman to set a record in open swimming in Antarctic waters. She swam 1.4 miles (2.3 km) in 41.14 minutes, at a temperature of 1 °C (34 °F), breaking the record of Lynne Cox (USA) and Lewis Pugh (Great Britain). She is also the youngest to swim in all the five oceans of the world, a feat which earned her recognition from Prime Minister Modi, besides swimming across eight other seas and channels. She was awarded the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award in 2010. Bhakti holds the Asian record for the first swim by a 3-member women’s relay team across the English Channel. She also shares a world record with her mother for being the first mother-daughter pair to swim across the English Channel in 2008.

Aishwarya Pissay: Bangalore based 21-year-old Aishwarya Pissay is the first Indian woman to be a part of women biker team at CEAT MTV Chase the Monsoon Season 2 which so far was an all men event. She is also the first Indian women biker to have ridden 13,500 km from Rann of Kutch in Gujarat to Cherrapunji in Meghalaya. She was the first South Indian girl to participate in the Raid De Himalaya 2016, the world’s toughest high altitude off-road rally. She is also the first woman to represent India in the International Motorsport event, where she secured 4th place.

The award carries INR 1 Lac in prize for each winner from Monisha and Amit Bhatia Foundation.Congratulating the TiE-Aspire winners, Rohit Bhatia, Managing Director of Aspire Human Capital Management Pvt. Ltd. said, “The significance of this award is two-fold. Not only does it give us an opportunity to celebrate their grit and courage, but also to take back immense learning from these young achievers and inculcate it in our everyday entrepreneurial efforts. I am extremely delighted and honoured to be sharing the stage with these three young women this year, who with their sheer hardwork and dedication have beaten all odds and made India proud at a tender age. Their journey is truly awe inspiring and serve as a shining example for many more young men and women to emulate and contribute to the country’s progress.”

Every year TiE and Aspire reach out to and search for people under the age of 30 and shortlist them based on their achievements in the field of academics, sports, art, music and sciences. Some of the past winners have includedArunima Sinha, Padma Shree, is the first female amputee and the first Indian amputee to climb Mount Everest; Deepika Kumari, Indian Archer who won a gold medal in the 2010 Commonwealth Games and the Youth World Archery Championship, USA in 2009 and currently ranks number 5 in the world; Lt. Commander Abhilash Tomy of the Indian Navy who is the winner of Kirti Chakra (National Gallantry Award) and Tenzing Norgay Award and is the first Indian, second Asian and 79th person in the world to circumnavigate the globe (solo, non-stop and unassisted) while sailing south of the three great capes; Anu Vaidyanathan, first Asian to participate in and the world’s youngest to finish the Ultraman triathlon (10km swim, 420K bike ride, 84.4K run) in Canada, and India’s first Ironman triathlete; Utsav Lal, a musician extraordinaire who has set a precedent in the world of music with his rendition of ragas on the piano and is credited with three solo albums & over 150 solo concerts before the age of 20, and recognized as Young Steinway Artist, ABRSM scholar, Limca record holder and MAMA Award winner; Kishan Shrikanth, youngest director of a professionally made feature length film as acknowledged by the Guinness Book of World Records; Rani Rampal, an Indian field hockey player and the youngest player in the national team which participated in the 2010 World Cup; Niranjan Mukundan, Indian para-swimmer and the Junior World Champion 2015, who later represented India at Rio 2016 Olympics; andShalini Arnugam, a domestic help and the sole bread earner for her family, who overcame all odds to score high grades during her schooling and funded her own B.Tech.

The first-ever TiE Global Summit is being held on December 16-17 at Taj Palace, New Delhi. The Summit, in partnership with the leading agencies of the Government of India, over 25 TiE chapters from India, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and Dubai, and global venture capital funds, is the largest such conference for entrepreneurs anywhere in the world.

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