Dehradun’s Social Worker Anurag Chauhan got conferred the prestigious Mahatma Award 2021 for Social Impact Initiatives today. The award was presented to Anurag by Dr. Kiran Bedi at the India International Centre in New Delhi, along with the CSR man of India Amit Sachdeva.
Anurag Chauhan was presented with the award for the WASH Project – Women Sanitation Hygiene which is a pilot project of Humans For Humanity, an organization founded by the 27-year-old. The WASH project has previously been awarded by United Nations, Ministry of Women & Child Development, Government of India, UNICEF, Indian council for UN relations, Government of Delhi, amongst many others.
Anurag is a young social entrepreneur who has been extensively working on various social initiatives from the very tender age of 14. He is a literary & arts impresario, ambassador of Indian heritage weaves & textiles. He is widely known for his work in the field of menstrual hygiene management and is popularly known as Padman and Pad warrior for breaking the taboos and spreading awareness and conducting extensive workshops across the nation.
In 2015, Anurag started the WASH project – Women, Sanitation, Hygiene that works towards educating women about menstrual hygiene, nutrition, mental health, menopause, providing them sanitary napkins, and giving training to them for making bio-degradable sanitary napkins. The cause received support from actress Twinkle Khanna and many other known figures.
Anurag runs this program in many villages, slums, government schools & colleges nationwide. The organization conducts menstrual hygiene management workshops with pad-making sessions and reached out to over two million women in India.
Anurag says, “If we want to even come close to empowering women, we need to save their lives first.” A study reveals that no access to poor menstrual hygiene has become the fifth-biggest reason for women’s death in the world. The WASH project has reached over 2.5 million women across the nation in the last six years.
During the pandemic, Anurag has been providing aid & essentials to over 8000 families for more than 1.5 years, in various parts of the country, supporting communities, low-income group families, people with daily wages who lost their jobs due to covid, transmen, widows, maids, etc. Humans For Humanity has started employment generation programs to uplift and empower communities, making them financially stable & independent even during the pandemic.
Mahatma Award is the world’s highest honor for social impact leaders and change-makers. Some of the former awardees of the prestigious award are Ratan Tata, Shabana Azmi, Azim Premji, Manish Sisodia, amongst others.