“A woman is like a tea bag – you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.” – Eleanor Roosevelt, the longest serving first lady of the United States of America.
Humans are known for their intelligence, creativity, and the ability to think. Though men define strength, women are actually the ones who not only define power, rather establish it every moment. Being a mother and carrying a child in the womb for nine months is not something easy to do. And, not just giving birth to a child or taking care of her family, “SHE” can do more, much more than ordinary men can imagine. Every moment, women are breaking the stereotypical thoughts of the typical men. Even though the society is male-dominant, there are women who are achieving milestones and setting a benchmark for the rest. Here’s the list of the most influential women who are redefining women empowerment every day.
Climbing up to the peak of Mount Everest is still almost every man’s dream, for women, it’s still too far. While the rest of the world just dreamed to achieve it, a 13 year old girl made it to the peak and hoisted the Indian flag at the summit. Malavath Poorna is the youngest woman to reach the peak of Everest. Most interestingly, she was just a month older than the world’s youngest Everest Climber – American Jordan Romero. The impressive thing about Poorna was that she climbed the peak from the difficult route, i.e., the Tibetan side.
Not many of us are aware of this name, though her deeds can actually keep us stunt. Kunjarani Devi is one of the most celebrated Indian woman figures in weightlifting. She is extraordinary because one doesn’t see a 46 year old bespectacled doing weightlifting every day. In the year 1990, she became the first woman to win Arjuna award. She has also shared the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award with Leander Paes in 1996-1997. Her journey towards success was not easy, but she stood strong and worked tirelessly to achieve her goal.
Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi
Starting a new venture is not easy, but being the Chairperson and CEO of the world’s second largest food and beverage business is much more difficult than one of us can imagine. Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi is the Chairperson and CEO of Pepsi Co., and a renowned name in the list of world’s most powerful women.
Reena Kaushal Dharmshaktu
Imagine walking on the ice, living on the ice, sleeping on the ice and even dreaming on the ice. A Delhi-based mountaineer and outdoor instructor Reena Kaushal Dharmashaktu, along with seven other women, became the first woman to reach the southernmost tip of world, the South Pole and that too in just 38 days. She has made it possible to ski through the coldest and deserted regions of the world and made a record that the world will remember forever.
Sapper Shanti Tigga
Carrying an AK47 rifle and running on the hilly roads of the Himalayas is not how imagine a woman to be. Sapper Shanti Tigga is one such one woman who has broken the stereotypical thoughts of the so-called male dominated society and became the first Indian woman to become a jawan in the Indian Army. She is 35-year-old and a mother of two. She competed with her male counterparts and joined the 969 Railway Engineer Regiment of Territorial Army in the year 2011. Though she was later found dead, India is proud to have a woman like her for her extraordinary contribution in creating a milestone for women.
Not every average man can make it to the Olympics, but this extraordinary girl, Sita Sahu, a sprinter, has won two bronze medals at the 2011 Special Olympics in Athens at a very young age of 15. She doesn’t need us to appreciate her for what she has done, rather she deserves that. It is very unfortunate to know that due to severe ignorance and lack of proper concern, this marvelous sportsperson has now to sell gol gappe in a small place in Madhya Pradesh for a living.
The more we say about these women, the less it appears. All we want in our life is comfort, isn’t that true? But, the goals of Chhavi Rajawat is something more, much more than average people can imagine. She is the first woman sarpanch in the Indian history with an MBA degree. We surely hear about people who quits job to start a new venture of their own. Chhavi, on the other hand, ditched her well-paying corporate job in India’s biggest telecom firm and started her journey towards making some positive impact on the society. She chose to become the sarpanch of Soda, a village situated 60 km from Jaipur, Rajasthan. Her tireless efforts have helped the place to be benefitted by some excellent facilities like rain water harvesting and toilets among many others.
Clearly, winning a Padma Bhushan Award is not every person’s cup of tea, but it isn’t impossible either. Gone are those days when Indian women used to hardly step out of their homes. Today, women travel to space, win medals in Olympics, even play cricket and become entrepreneurs to set milestones for the rest of the world. Chanda Kochhar is no ordinary woman; she is the CEO of ICICI Bank. She didn’t stop there. She made it to the Fortune list of 25 most powerful women in the Asia-Pacific region and stands first among all other Indian women. Not only for the first time, she has been consistently been featured in that list since 2005, and in the year 2010, she was honored with the Padma Bhushan Award, the third highest civilian honor given by the Indian Government, for her extraordinary contributions in the banking sector.
The names like Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Dhoni and Virat Kohli is famous among all India kids, but there exists a woman who has led the Indian Cricket team to the final of the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017, and she is Mithali Raj. For her extraordinary contributions to the Indian Women’s cricket, Mithali has been revealed as one of the most influential women in India by the BBC.
Apart from the all the names said above, there exists hundreds of other Indian women who make the nation proud every day. Every Indian mother and every other Indian woman who sacrifices their dreams and ambitions for their family are the real heroes of the nation. India still remembers the names like Irom Chanu Sharmila, Phoolan Devi, Amrita Devi, Asha Roy, Arundhati Bhattacharya, Kalpana Chawla, Kalpana Chawla, Durga Shakti Nagpal, Bhairavi Desai, Ranji Nagaswami, Gargee Ghosh, Rashmi Sinha, and Alka Banerjee among many others.
“The empowered woman is powerful beyond measure and beautiful beyond description.” – Steve Maraboli, a renowned American researcher.