Saturday, April 27, 2013

Jai Chandiram gets IAWRT Lifetime Achievement Award

Jai Chandiram, one of the first women in television in India, who rose to the position of Deputy Director General of Doordarshan, has been conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award from IAWRT. Jai, who is fighting cancer, received the award in her brother's home in Delhi on April 26.

The IAWRT Lifetime Achievement Award was instituted this year to honour individuals who have made exceptional contributions towards the growth and development of IAWRT. Jai Chandiram is the second recipient of the award.

Gerd Inger Polden, the Vice President of the International Board, who joined the award ceremony from Norway via skype, said: "We honour you for your great contribution to IAWRT both as the founder of the India Chapter and its longtime Managing Trustee and for your period as President of IAWRT International from the year 2001-2005. In your period as President, you were able to give IAWRT a new direction as a truly global network".

As the first Asian President of the IAWRT for two terms, Jai delved passionately into women’s rights on many levels culminating in the highly acclaimed annual IAWRT Asian Women’s Film Festival that has given women filmmakers an arena in which to showcase gender issues.

From being a part time actress off-Broadway to the first Asian President of IAWRT International, Jai Chandiram has been a teacher, mentor, friend and an inspiration to a whole generation of professional media women.

The award ceremony was attended by representatives of the Board which included Anupama Srinivasan, Nupur Basu and Samina Mishra as well as members of the India chapter - Aradhana Kapur, Iffat Fatima, Kavita Joshi, Renuka Sharma, Shazia Ilmi.  Speaking on their behalf, Reena Mohan, Managing Trustee of IAWRT India, said: ''Fifty two years ago, a young woman strode through the portals of Doordarshan. Her trail blazing career and iconic personality touched the lives of many and inspired hundreds of media students, colleagues and friends. We are here to pay tribute to that extraordinary woman, Jai Chandiram. On behalf of IAWRT India, I would like to thank Jai for cajoling, pushing and guiding many of us women working in film and television to discover our true potential.''
The award was presented by Ananya Chakraborti, Treasurer of the International Board. She had expressed her feelings in a written message to Jai. ''You are very special to me. I am extremely fortunate to have had you as mentor, and am grateful for the supportive role you have played in my life.''
Rachel Nakitare, IAWRT President, said, “You are a pillar and icon to many of us. You inspire me with your grasp of issues and exceptional networking skills. Sometimes I wonder how you manage to have an ear for everyone despite the crowded schedules. You are the true definition of leadership and an embodiment of genuine love. We honor you with the IAWRT award of dedication and service because you deserve it.”