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Also presented at Cannes: Amruta Fadnavis


A walk on the red carpet, a speech at a gathering of influential people and an award. Amruta Fadnavis had a turbulent time at the Cannes Film Festival in France last week.

On May 22, Fadnavis, who runs an NGO called Divyaj Foundation for marginalized people, received an award from the Better World Fund, a Paris-based endowment fund, for bringing “meaningful change and positive impact to the world and transformed our agriculture and transformed our agricultural and food systems”.

The organization, which claims to connect grassroots movements with influential figures in film and business, counts actor Sharon Stone, Prince Albert of Monaco and singer Akon among its supporters. Actor Kiera Chaplin is on its advisory board.

The same day she received the award, Fadnavis walked the film festival red carpet and was the keynote speaker at an event called “Masterminds.” She spoke about agricultural and food sustainability in the Indian context. “It was enriching to share thoughts and ideas with different nationals during the ceremony organized by Better World,” she tweeted on the occasion.

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“Amruta engages in various initiatives for vulnerable people and communities. I am happy that she received this invitation to participate in such a famous forum and also got the recognition,” said former Chief Minister of Maharashtra and husband of Amruta, Devendra Fadnavis. The Indian Express.

Besides Amruta, the Fund also honored the First Lady of Côte d’Ivoire Dominique Ouattara, Stone, actor Skyler Griswold and businessman Stéphane Layani. The organization’s founder, Manuel Collas De La Roche, said The Indian Express that Amruta was chosen for the award because she “is very committed, kind and humble”.

He added: “She works a lot with women, acid attack survivors and around sustainability. As a fund we wanted to showcase someone’s work in India and Amruta is very dedicated.

De La Roche said the organization plans to hold events in Mumbai next year.

The Fund, according to its website, organizes international events with “filmmakers, leaders, businesses and change makers” to make “international commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals a reality”.

The visit to Cannes was not Amruta Fadnavis’ first participation in an international forum. In 2018, she participated in the World Economic Forum’s annual event in Davos, Switzerland. The previous year, she represented Maharashtra at the National Prayer Breakfast Forum for World Peace in Washington, DC.

— With contributions from ENS Mumbai