Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal And Son – Kaizaad Win 2020 National Laadli Media Award

On 15th December, 2020, celebrated actor and theatre personality – Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal and her son – Dr. Kaizaad Kotwal’s company, Poor-Box Productions, were awarded the 2020 Laadli Media Awards For Gender Sensitivity, over an online streaming event. They received this prestigious award for their work in bringing the path-breaking play, ‘The Vagina Monologues’, to India, seventeen years ago. The Laadli Awards are supported by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

Speaking on the occasion, Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal said, “While Laadli is honoring Kaizaad, myself, Poor-Box Productions and The Vagina Monologues, we would like to share this prestigious moment with many, many who have made this journey possible – our committed and brilliant cast and crew who, seventeen years later, are still going strong with us!” as she went on to name the entire cast and crew who were a part of this revolutionary play’s journey.

Mahabanoo also thanked Eve Ensler (who recently announced that she now chooses to be known simply by the letter ‘V’) for her love and unyielding support. She thanked the respective heads of ‘V-Day’ and ‘One Billion Rising’, Susan Swan and Monique Wilson, for helping bring these two international movements to India. Working with these two movements in India, Mahabanoo and Kaizaad have used the play to raise funds and awareness towards ending violence against women and children.

Poor-Box Productions’ ‘The Vagina Monologues’ (in English and Hindi) still witnesses house-full shows, and has also been produced for schools and colleges, as also for the economically disadvantaged women and men living in urban slums. The show has become a cult-phenomenon in India.

“Nowhere else can you find better proof of the fact that art literally saves lives than in both, our English and Hindi productions of The Vagina Monologues… the stories of real lives changed, and even saved, which have proven to be the ultimate rewards any artist, any human, could possibly ask for. We promise to keep going with this play and this work as long as audiences will keep coming and as long as women continue to be violated. In India, that road seems endless and very fraught. Sometimes when giving up seems easier, I remember the words of Mary Anne Radmacher who said, ‘Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying ‘I will try again tomorrow.’ We, at Poor-Box Productions, thank you all at Laadli again, and vow we will try again tomorrow,” concluded Mahabanoo.

Last year in November, 2019, the mother-son duo had been felicitated with the prestigious ‘Karmaveer Puruskar Mahartna’ in the capital, for their great contribution to women’s empowerment and in combatting violence against women and girls. The Make-A-Difference Foundation was established in 2008, by the mother-son team, dedicated to the cause of women’s empowerment and particularly the cause of helping battered and abused women, across all strata, irrespective of religion, caste and creed to find a way out of violence and stay free of violence.

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