Dr. Bharti Sharma conferred "Knight of the Legion of Honour"
Ambassador of France to India, H.E. Mr Alexandre Ziegler confers highest French distinction, Knight of the Legion of Honour on Dr. Bharti Sharma, former Chairperson, Child Welfare Committee, New Delhi.
New Delhi, 15 June 2017
On behalf of the President of the French Republic, the Ambassador of France to India, H.E. Mr Alexandre Ziegler today conferred the Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur (Knight of the National Order of the Legion of Honour) on Dr. Bharti Sharma, a tireless activist who dedicated her life and action to uphold the dignity of children and women.
Commending Dr. Sharma at the investiture ceremony held at the Residence of France, Ambassador Alexandre Ziegler said, “This award expresses France’s recognition of your outstanding contribution and dedication to child protection and women empowerment. You have shown unparalleled energy and determination in fighting against violence and discrimination and advocating the rights and dignity of children and women. It is a great honour to confer on you the highest French distinction for your inspirational achievements”.
Accepting the distinction, Dr. Bharti Sharma said, “I am much beholden and grateful to the President of the French Republic and to the Ambassador of France, His Excellency Mr. Alexandre Ziegler, for putting the issue of Child Protection and Women Empowerment on a higher pedestal. Absolute focus with resolute conviction and passion for the cause coupled with untiring labour has been the corner stone of my work. For a change to follow, maintaining a fine balance of head and heart has been paramount. The journey was distinguished by converting difficulties and failures into learning opportunities. Think and work out of the box, be genuinely creative and innovative in every domain of work is what my work signifies.”
Bharti Sharma has degrees in Home Science (specialisation in Child development), followed by Social Work from M.S. University, Baroda and Ph.D. on Juvenile Delinquency from South- Gujarat University, Surat. She has teaching experience at graduate and post graduate levels at different Universities in India and abroad. Her experience at the field level has been in India and United Kingdom.
Soon after her retirement as Associate Professor, Social Work, Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi, she was appointed Chairperson of Child Welfare Committee, New Delhi for two consecutive terms – 2003 to 2009. This is a statutory body under the aegis of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000. She was on the Committee for drafting Model Rules, 2007 of the said Juvenile Justice Act. She has also been on various committees of the National Commission of Protection of Child Rights and various organizations. She has closely worked with National Commission for Women on the issue of domestic workers and their rights. She has also chaired Domestic Workers Rights Campaign.
She has been consultant to INGOs and NGOS on different matters affecting lives of children and women. Her work includes training and capacity building, evaluation of projects, counselling, advocacy and policy matters. She is also on Trust and Boards of various organizations working on the issue of children and women. Her work with Shakti Shalini- a non-goverment organization working on gender based violence is of very intricate nature. Since the Sexual Harassment of Women at work Place, Act 2013, she has been on the Internal Complaints Committee of various organizations – government, non-government and also private institutions.
The Legion d’Honneur, created in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte, la Légion d’Honneur (“the Legion of Honour”) is the highest civilian award given by the French Republic for outstanding service to France, regardless of the nationality of the recipients. The President of the French Republic is the Grand Master of the Order of the Legion of Honour.