France today awarded its highest civilian award 'Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur' to Anjali Gopalan for her work on transgenders and HIV positive patients.
Presenting the award here at a function, French Cabinet Minister for Women's Rights Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said "I admire the work carried out by Anjali."
She said Gopalan started her career as a social worker in New York where she worked for migrants from South-East Asia who lacked valid documents.
She later started the Naz Foundation that changed the lives of transgenders, homosexuals and those with HIV positive, the minister said.
Accepting the honour, Gopalan said she will keep doing the work in this field. She said she is in the process of starting a home care centre for HIV positive patients.
Referring to last year's Delhi gangrape case, the minister said "it is important to change mentality of both boys and girls. They need to be sensitised at an early age that both are equal."
She said in France alone, 250 cases of rape are reported every day and in 80 per cent of the cases the victim knows the perpetrator.