International Women’s Day, a day to honor women, a day to remember the deeds of the women that made a difference in our everyday life. A day to reminisce the inspiration that women provided to the younger generations and made history. We bring you ten such women of India, who helped women to dare, to fight and to stand out.
An Indian origin astronaut and the first Indian woman to enter space. She flew on the Space Shuttle Columbia as a mission specialist and primary robotic arm operator. She along with seven crew members passed away on the return journey to Earth after entering the atmosphere in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.
Kalpana inspired millions of young girls across the country to dare to dream. She set an example that women are no less than men and can reach heights and make a difference. She inspired a generation of young girls to achieve their dreams.
An Indian Writer, also known as a mental calculator is popularly known as a ‘Human Computer’. Shakuntala Devi was a child prodigy and earned a Guinness World record in 1982 for her talent. As an author, she wrote books ranging from Maths puzzles about astrology in India.
Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom, popularly known as Mary Kom is an Indian boxer, who represented India at international level. Nicknamed as ‘Magnificent Mary’, she was the only woman from India to win a medal in all the World Amateur Boxing championships. She is a five time gold medal winner and one silver medal in World level Boxing. She is also the only woman who qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympics from India and won a bronze medal in flyweight (51 kg) category. She has also secured her place at 4th position in the AIBA World Women’s Ranking Flyweight category. Mary Kom is also supported by the Olympic Gold Quest and has won Gold Medal in Asian games 2014.
Bollywood, inspired by her made a movie on her and showcased how a woman can be celebrated and be inspirational.
Kiran Bedi can be considered a real life hero and is an icon of heroism. Kiran Bedi is the first woman in our Country to become an Indian Police Services officer and set an example for the generations to come. She is now a retired police officer turned politician. She also founded two NGO’s, Navjyothi Delhi Police Foundation for welfare and preventive policing and also India Vision Foundation for Prison reformation, child welfare, and drug abuse prevention. For her services to the government, she was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay award in 1994.
She became the first Asian woman and also the youngest in the world to create a swimming record in the waters of the Antarctic.
A name, thanks to Bollywood now familiar with almost all the individuals in India. A purser of PanAm was shot and killed while saving passengers from a hijacked flight two days before her twenty third birthday. Posthumously she is the youngest receiver of the India’s highest peacetime military bravery award, the Ashoka Chakra. She proved that bravery is what matters and can change lives despite age, profession, and religion.
Saina Nehwal, a name synonymous to badminton lovers, she won India’s third medal at the London Olympics and the first ever in Badminton. Former World No.1 player, she is currently at seventh position in the world. In a Country, where Cricket is considered the only money bringing sport, Saina stepped out from the trend and became India’s highest paid non-cricketing sports person. She inspired girls and boys alike to ditch the cricket bat and to take up the badminton racquet and brought the much needed change in the mindset of people towards a different sport.
Chitra Ramakrishna, a name few know took charge as the Managing Director and CEO of the National Stock Exchange in 2013. She is the second woman to head a top bourse in India. A chartered Accountant, she has been with the NSE since its inception. She was also a member of five member team selected by Indian Government to create the modern screen based pan Indian stock exchange. She also was part of drafting the legislative framework for Sebi.
The President of Intel, India from January 2013, she was appointed the first woman president of the $54 billion computer chip maker Intel Corp., in India. She joined Intel in 1987 and is with the company from more than 25 years. She holds several business and information systems positions in the organization. She is currently working on taking India to the next level and make it a center of innovation apart from R and D and also realize the Country’s worth and its market potential.
Harshini received the title of India’s first female firefighter about ten years back. She believed in overcoming barriers and in making history, which she has clearly done.
The Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of PepsiCo, Indra Nooyi is an Indian American Business executive. She is the head of the PepsiCo which is the second largest beverage company in the world in terms of net revenue. She is at fourth place on the list of Forbes magazine’s annual survey of the 100 most powerful women in the world.
The managing director and CEO of ICICI bank, Chanda Kochhar is the head of the leading private bank in India. Kochhar joined ICICI in 1984 as a management trainee and played very important role in establishing the bank in 1990. She grew quickly, in the banking sector and was appointed as the deputy managing director in 2006. In 2009 she became the MD and CEO and is responsible for handling the bank’s operations in India and also overseas. Apart from this, she is also the president of the International Monetary Conference. Ms. Kochar shows that women, with dedication, can make a difference and stood as an inspiration to many.
The beauty with brains, Tania Sachdev is associated with a non-glamorous sport which says a lot. She has won titles like Women’s Grandmaster in 2005 and International Master in 2008. She has also received the Arjuna award for her excellence in the game of Chess.