As we draw closer to March 8, Women’s International day, it is just right to celebrate a few of our ladies among several equally distinguished ones, who made us proud by their remarkable accomplishments in various fields. Not only have they outshone in their professions, but have also broken conventional images and manifested as beacons for a brighter tomorrow.
Aditi Ashok-Indian golf’s wonder girl: Miles away from more popular Indian sports such as cricket, hockey, badminton and tennis, a teenager from Bengaluru embarked on her journey in the professional world of golf. Near the end of 2016, Aditi won the Hero Women’s Indian Open at Gurgaon’s DLF Golf and Country Club. She topped that up by winning her next tournament, the Qatar Ladies Open in Doha .This 18-year-old professional golfer created history when she was announced as the first Indian woman to capture a Ladies European Tour title. A phenomenal rookie season saw her zoom the Rolex rankings (women’s world golf rankings) to 99th, in February 2017.
Dolly Singh: “What is beautiful? What is good looking?” says 34-year old Mumbai-based Dolly Singh, while talking about the influence of yoga on her views no life, love, and herself. This curvy yogi is proving people wrong about over-sized people who are into yoga. We often hear that yoga gives confidence, and Dolly is breathing, living example of this. Yoga has given her the “freedom to exist the way she wants to exist.” This media professional is motivating women to step out and be comfortable in their own skin
Chanda Kochhar: 55 year-old Padma Bhushan awardee has won awards like Retail Banker of the Year 2004, Business Woman of the Year 2005 and Rising Star Award 2006. She has featured in the Forbes’ list of the Most Powerful Women in the World from 2005 onwards. In 2016, she was ranked 40th on India Today’s ‘High and Mighty Power List and held 22nd position in the Forbes Asia’s ‘50 Power Businesswomen List. Greatly recognized for reshaping retail banking in India, Chanda Kochhar is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ICICI bank.
In a bid to retain female staff, she launched [email protected] which allows employees to work from home for a year post delivery. Also, executives are allowed to take their children on business trips if they are under the age of three, along with a caregiver, at the expense of ICICI bank.
Deepa Malik: Forty six year old Deepa Malik, mother of two, overcame a spinal tumour, 31 surgeries and 183 stitches to become the first Indian woman to win a silver medal in shot put at the 2016 Rio Summer Paralympics. Having won several accolades for sports at the international level for nearly a decade, the only one missing from her repertoire was that of Paralympics and at Rio, she has fulfilled that dream of hers as well.It was in a sense the climax of her journey.
Geeta Phogat:, a 28- year old freestyle wrestler, is currently in the news because of Aamir Khan’s Dangal. She won the country’s first gold medal in wrestling at the Commonwealth Games in 2010 in 55 kg. She became the first Indian woman wrestler to have qualified for the Olympics. In the Wrestling championships held in Canada in 2012, Phogat won the bronze medal.
Dipa Karmakar: the 23-year old dare devil from Tripura is an artistic gymnast, who first gained attention when she won a bronze medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, held in Glasgow. Though she missed a bronze by a whisker at the 2016 Rio Olympics, she had India glowing with pride despite not making it to the podium in the Women’s Vault Gymnastics, in which she attained the 14th position. Our Indian Government conferred upon her the Khel Ratna award in August 2016. She also happens to be the fifth woman in the world who landed the Produnova, one of the most strenuous vaults in women’s gymnastics. The Department of Post, unveiled a special cover on Karmakar at a philatelic exhibition organized in Agartala.
Sushma Swaraj: who is the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, has changed herself as the tender face of womanhood in the BJP as she is fighting hard to dilute opposition’s unpleasantness. Even kidney failure did not prevent her from doing her job. This ex- Supreme Court lawyer is the second woman to hold the post of India’s Minister of External Affairs next to Indira Gandhi.
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw – At a time when entrepreneurship was not a word that rolled off tongues easily or had not even been heard, 64-year old Kiran started her own company. Listed last year at the 77th position in Forbes most powerful woman in the world list, she is the Chairman and MD of Biocon, a Bengaluru-based biotechnology company and continues to be a role model for entrepreneurs.
Arundhati Bhattacharya: At the age of 60, Arundathi Bhattacharya is the first woman Chairperson of State Bank of India. Listed as the 25th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes in 2016, she is one of the most recognized faces of the industry. She undertook various initiatives for the benefit of the masses. Some of them include SBI Macquarie Infrastructure Fund, SBI SG Global Securities Private Ltd., and SBI General Insurance.
Indra Nooyi – The 61-year old Chennai-born Indian-American PepsiCo CEO and Chairperson, is ranked Number 2 in Fortune’s list of world’s most powerful women in the world.She heads a company that has annual net revenue of more than $63 billion, out which the US alone accounts for more than $35 billion. During the general election, Indra was a known supporter of Trump’s Democratic rival Hillary Clinton but recently has joined Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum.