Women, particularly in India, have witnessed a dramatic refinement in their stature in the past few decades.This gender has fought a long battle to survive and unveil its capabilities and strengths to the world.
India has given birth to great women who have played a vital role in shaping the future of India.
On this Women’s Day, here is a list of few such women who became the first to achieve success in their respective fields:
1. Indira Gandhi- She became the first female head of the government and served as the Prime Minister from 1966 to 1977. In a poll conducted by BBC in 1999, she was declared as ‘Women of the Millennium ‘.
2. Kiran Bedi- She is India’s first female to join Indian Police Services in 1972. After completing her training, she was appointed as sub-divisional police officer at the Chanakyapuri Police Station in New Delhi.
3. Reita Faria Porwell- In 1964, Reita Faria won the glorious Miss World title for India. At the age of 21, she became the first asian to do so.
4. Kalpana Chawla- The first Indian woman astronaut to reach space in 1997. She was the ‘space shuttle mission’ specialist and was one of the seven crew members who died in Coloumbia Space Shuttle crash.
5. Sarla Thakral- At a tender age of 21, Sarla Thakral became the first Indian woman pilot to obtain ‘A’ certified license in flying. She has also achieved the title of the first Indian to get airmail pilot’s license.
6. Anandibai Gopalrao Joshi- The first female physician who was trained in western medicines and the first woman to travel to the United States of America in 1887.
7. Priya Jhingan- She became the first lady cadet and joined the Indian Army in 1993.
8. Mary Kom- Mangte Chungneijiang,also known as Mary Kom, is an Indian woman boxer, best known for being a five time World Amateur Boxing Champion. She became the only India woman to win a gold medal in Asian Games in 2014.
9. Aarti Saha- She became the first Indian and Asian woman to cross English Channel in 1959. Also, she became the first female sportsperson to be awarded Padma Shri in 1960.
10. Roshni Sharma- Recently, she became the first female biker to travel from Kanyakumari to Kashmir.
11. Shila Dawre- Pune based Shila Dawre broke all the stereotypes and became the first women auto rickshaw driver in 1988.
FIVE INDIAN WOMEN WHO MADE IT TO THE “FORBES MOST POWERFUL WOMEN’S” LIST
1. Chanda Kochar, CEO, ICICI Bank- This 55 year old banker is ranked at 32 this year on the list. Born in Jodhpur and raised in Jaipur, Kochar moved to Mumbai to complete her higher studies. She joined ICICI in 1984 as a management trainee and, gradually over the years, became the Managing Director and CEO of the bank.
2. Roshni Nadar Malhotra, CEO & Executive Director of HCL Enterprises- Ranked at 57, Roshni Nadar is the executive director and CEO of HCL. Graduated from Kellogg’s university, she became the CEO in the very first year of her joining. She was awarded ‘Vogue India’s Philanthropist of the Year’ in 2014.
3. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Chaiman and Managing Director of Biocon Limited- Started as a small biotechnology firm in the garage of her rented house in Bengaluru, today, Mazumdar Shaw is the Managing Director and CEO of one of India’s leading Biotechnology firm.
4. Shobhana Bhartiya, Chairperson and Editorial Director of Hindustan Times Group- Daughter of industrialist KK Birla, she grew up in Kolkata and joined Hindustan Times in 1986 and became the first woman chief executive of a national daily. She has been recognised with numerous awards in the field of journalism.
5. Priyanka Chopra- An Indian actress-singer, who brought fame to her country not just by winning the Miss World Pageant in 2000, she is also working for the last ten years with UNICEF as the global Goodwill Ambassador for child rights. She also became the first Indian actress to act as the lead in an America based drama series ‘Quantico’.