Nandini Biskunda selected for ‘Pravasi Stree Shakti Award-2016 Australia Chapter
Strange as it sounds, Nandini Biskunda is now officially a ‘powerful woman’ in her home state of Hyderabad, Telangana in India.
“That’s just the literal translation of the award name,” laughs Nandini, who was selected for the ‘Pravasi Stree Shakti Award-2016 Australia Chapter, awarded by American Telangana Association and ‘Pravasi Mithra’, in recognition of her services towards the community.
She was presented with the award on 2 October at the ‘Pravasi Bathukamma’ Festival-2016, and was one among 17 co-awardees from 12 different countries who were a part of the event.
Nandini, an administrative officer in foundation studies, School of Foundation and Preparation, Melbourne Polytechnic, one of the largest providers of primary industry training in Victoria, works with new migrants and resident of Melbourne on a daily basis. “I am strongly attached to my Indian culture and community and am always developing alternative ways to assimilate that into my activities,” she says, and adds that she goes the extra mile to encourage Indian Telugu women’s tradition and customs.
In 2008, Nandini began organizing the Bathkumma Festival in Melbourne city with just a group of family and friends participating. “I was encouraged by Mr Anildeep Goud, secretary general and founder vice president of Melbourne Telangana Forum Inc. This marked the beginning of our festival celebrations,” she says.
Over the years the group began celebrating other festivals such as Ugadi, Ganesh Chatruthi and Diwali.
“In 2014, I was introduced to a group of members who wanted to create an organization which aimed to create awareness about Telangana culture and history, and they came to be known as Melbourne Telangana Forum Inc,” she says.
With encouragement from Venkat Nookala, founder president and advisory board member, Nandini was elected joint secretary to MTF Inc, Australia. “This organization enabled me to work on my passion – serving the community and establishing the Indian society in Australia,” she says.
From blood donation drives to student services for new settlers, MTF Inc is at the forefront of welfare activities. “With the support of MTF Inc, Australia chapter, we founded the Ladies Wing, which hosted several events such as on International Multicultural Women’s Day,” says Nandini, who is currently the vice- president of MTF Inc. The group raised $500 dollars and donated it to a girl child (Twisha Makwana) and also raised donations for the McGrath Cancer Foundation founded by the Australian cricketer Glenn McGrath.
“I’m connected to the people, so I enjoy my profession as well as helping the community and raising awareness on existing issues,” says Nandini. Truly the mark of a ‘powerful’ woman.