Washington: United States has selected the 23-year-old Delhi braveheart for the International Women of Courage Award. The award to the braveheart would be presented posthumously by the First Lady Michelle Obama and the Secretary of State John Kerry, on March 8, an official announcement said.
She bravely recorded two police statements while in the hospital, repeatedly called for justice against the six attackers, and stated her will to survive to see justice done, the State Department said.
"Like many Indians inspired by her struggle, she was born into a working class family that invested their hopes and life savings into her dream to pursue medicine. She had just graduated from a physiotherapy program when her life was cut short," said the State Department. "In the wake of her death just two weeks after the attack, India's civil society began advocating heavily for legislation and social programs to stem gender-based violence in all its forms and to ensure higher rape conviction rates and gender-sensitive law enforcement and justice systems. Thanks to these efforts, the Indian government has begun to take action to follow through on those demands," the State Department said.
The paramedical student was gangraped, beaten and thrown out of a moving bus along with a male friend in Delhi in December 2012, which generated widespread protests and was condemned by various women groups, both in India and abroad.
The Secretary of State's International Women of Courage Award annually recognises women around the globe who have shown exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for women's rights and empowerment, often at great personal risk.
Since inception of the award in 2007, the Department of State has honoured 67 women from 45 different countries.
The other awardees for this year are Malalai Bahaduri, First Sergeant Afghan National Interdiction Unit (Afghanistan); Samira Ibrahim, Coordinator Know Your Rights (Egypt); Julieta Castellanos, Rector National Autonomous University of Honduras (Honduras); Dr Josephine Obiajulu Odumakin, President Campaign for Democracy (Nigeria); Elena Milashina journalist, human rights activist (Russia) and Fartuun Adan, Executive Director, Elman Peace and Human Rights Centre (Somalia).