“People say that behind every successful man there is a woman, but I believe that behind every successful woman there is also a woman,” said Alia Bhatt, as she accepted her award for a path-breaking portrayal of women on the Indian screen at the 7th Annual Gr8 Women’s Awards last night. The event celebrated the achievement of women from a variety of fields and from different parts of the world.
The show began with a fashion show, displaying the work of Sunaina Jain, and actress Anushka Ranjan was the showstopper.
Presenters Avneet Kohli and Ujjwal Khanna kept the audience engaged through their light-hearted banter. As the night went on, the fashion shows, dance and music performances managed to convince the members of the audience to get up on their feet.
All the music and performances may have kept people entertained, but they did not take the attention away from the main purpose of the event – the celebration of successful women and their achievements. Among the women being honoured were Mariam Othman, co-founder and director of Rashid Pediatric Therapy Centre, for her contribution to the field of child care; Zeenat Jaffar, managing director of Z Haus, for the business of beauty; Laila Al Meqbali for versatility in the world of entertainment; Ruqaiya Mustafa Hemani for strategy management marketing; and there was a special mention of Shaikha Hend Al Qasimi for her business endeavours.
The list of awardees also included many A-listers who hoped to inspire women to follow their dreams. “We always say [that] I’m a woman in a man’s world but I think it’s the other way around. You are all men in a woman’s world,” said Farah Khan while accepting her award for choreography and directing. Her message to women was simple, yet important. “Don’t let anyone tell you what you can or cannot do. You can do everything and be everything you want to be.”
While Khan chose to impart words of wisdom, Bhatt thanked the women in her life who had had an impact on her. Expectedly, she thanked her mother for giving birth to her but also thanked her best friend’s mother and the founder of the Gr8 women’s awards, Anu Ranjan. “[She is] a very, very powerful portrayal of a woman. Thank you for inspiring us and thank you for giving me this award,” she said. On being pressed by the host and audience, she also sang her song Ikk Kudi.
Meanwhile, Lindsay Lohan was honoured for her work with children and her success as an actress with a prize for versatile artistry and social service. During her speech, she spoke about the importance of living in a society that recognises the potential of women and their contributions. “I think it’s really important that we really appreciate this moment while we have it and as women, honour the fact that we have such strong men who give us the chance to change other children’s lives.”
The night ended with a performance by 12-year-old singer Mustafa Khan and a fashion show featuring TV presenter Iulia Vantur as the show stopper. While the event definitely had its downfalls, in the form of the hosts scrambling to improvise as the teleprompter stopped working all of a sudden and failed attempts at making some of the celebrities perform on request, it did a good job of celebrating the women being honoured. Now in its seventh year, the Annual Gr8 Women’s Awards is a reminder of the need to recognise the contribution of women in a society that, too often, fails to do so.