Pics: National Institute for Gender Justice honours Rani Mukerji with National Award

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New Delhi, March 3: Bollywood actress Rani Mukerji was on Tuesday, March 3 conferred with the National Award for highlighting women's safety and creating awareness about child-trafficking, through her Bollywood movie "Mardaani".

National Institute for Gender Justice (NIGJ) honoured Rani by awarding her with the National Award for the 'Best Representation of the Cause of Safety, Security and Protection of Women and Girl Child' at an event held in the national capital, New Delhi, to mark the International Women's Day, that annually  falls on March 8.

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Rani Mukherji, who flawlessly portrayed the role of a strong, powerful and fearless Senior Inspector (crime branch) Shivani Shivaji Roy, in the Bollywood Blockbuster film Mardani, has become the first actress in the Indian film industry to be felicitated by the prestigious award.

After receiving the award, Rani Mukherji, who was elegantly dressed in a white cotton saree, said, "It's really heartening to see that not only has the film been loved by audiences worldwide, but it has transcended the realm of filmmaking and become something that inspires the people who have been tirelessly working for years for the cause of child trafficking, and are the real heroes."

36-year-old Rani further added, "I feel humbled to meet these people and I am glad that I am able to contribute in a small way. This award is special as it recognises my contribution to cinema in a different manner."

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Lauding Rani for her role in the movie, Sreerupa Mitra Chaudhury, Chairperson of the National Institute for Gender Justice said, "The powerful and fearless performance of Rani Mukerji in Mardaani idealises the role of police in prevention of crime against women, especially trafficking of girl child for commercial sexual exploitation. I feel she symbolizes the pride of uniform and inspires change. That's the reason we decided to felicitate her for excellence in artistic performance."

The award ceremony took place at the Indian Habitat Centre. The event was based on the National Convention on Prevention of trafficking. The theme of the event was "Pride of Uniform Inspiring Change".

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Mardani, directed by Pradeep Sarkar, won accolades for the role of Rani as a tough cop and it was based on the sensitive issue of child-trafficking, how girls are sold and forced into prostitution.

Rani has played various strong roles during her film career. These have included movies like "Raja Ki Aayegi Baraat", "Mehendi" and "No One Killed Jessica".

The previous recipients of the prestigious award are Anna Hazare, Pratibha Patil, Pandit Jasraj and Mahashweta Devi.

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