Women in India have proved beyond their capability and mettle beyond any doubt. Indian women have produced leaders who exude confidence and dignity. Here are some who have empowered other Indian women to be their best and made us proud.
- Kiran Bedi
A symbol of courage and an excellent leader, Kiran Bedi has been a perfect example of the fearless Indian woman. Having been a lecturer of Political Science for 2 years at Khalsa College for Women in Amritsar, she joined the Indian Police Service in 1972.
She has braved some extremely difficult postings since, including Deputy Inspector General of Police in the insurgency prone region of Mizoram. During her term in the IPS, she has brought about several reforms in the areas of narcotics control and traffic management.
She has won many prestigious awards including the Ramon Magsaysay Award (1994), and the United Nations Medal.
Polite and charming, yet extremely reserved, the First Woman Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Meira Kumar, is a disciplinarian to the core. Kumar was a lawyer and a diplomat before being elected to the Lok Sabha first to the 8th Lok Sabha.
She was a Cabinet Minister in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment between 2004 and 2009. She is a strong proponent of women’s empowerment in India, having strongly opposed the dilution of the Anti-dowry law.
“Safety, dignity and equality of women are very important,” Kumar said while interacting with women journalists here. Questioned on her views on the dilution of 498(A), the anti-dowry law, which some sections of civil society argue is too harsh, she said, “I am not in favour of dilution of any law which is for the safety of women.” (Source: Deccan Herald)
- Mother Teresa
Born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, the Late Mother Teresa was a beacon of light for empowerment and care for the poor. Her contribution to our country’s development has been indescribably immense.
She founded the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta , and for 45 years she tended to the poor, the sick, and orphans. She received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 and the Bharat Ratna in 1980.
The Missionaries of Charity have homes and hospices for lepers, patients with HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, and also counseling centers in 123 countries around the world. After her death in 1997, Mother Teresa was beatified by Pope John Paul II and she came to be known as Blessed Teresa of Calcutta.
The first Indian woman to scale the Mount Everest in 1984, Bachendri Pal is a picture of grit, determination and one who dares to dream.
She was born in a family of small means, and went on to first become an instructor of mountaineering and then to scale the Everest itself.
She continues to be active even today, and she is involved with the TATA Group, as the chief of the TATA Steel Adventure Foundation (TASF). She heads expeditions in the Himalayas organized by TASF for women.
- P.T. Usha
The Queen of the Indian Track and Field, the “Payyoli Express” as she was nicknamed, is the trailblazer for women athletes in India. Her medal record in the Asian Games, and several other national and international events is proof of her fantastic career.
She was the first Indian woman to reach the final of an Olympic event by winning the semi-finals of the 400 m hurdles in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.
At this event, she missed the bronze by 1/100th of a second. She was conferred the Arjuna Award in 1984, and the civil honour Padma Shree in the same year.
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