Top 10 Indian Superwomen in 2015

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As India moves forward to claim its title as the emerging super power of the world, the women citizens are also proving that they are not behind their male counterparts in bringing glory to the country. Dreams in their eyes and overcoming all possible obstacles, the women are exemplifying that there is no stopping them to achieve their dreams whether it is in the field of art, entertainment sports, defence services, science or more. Here is a list of 10 top Indian superwomen in 2015 who have inspired us to be passionate, consistent and hard working. They also bring hope that every girl in India has the potential to achieve whatever she puts her hearts into.

10. Irom Chanu Sharmila

Also called the Iron Lady of Manipur, Irom Sharmila holds the record for the longest ever hunger strike to fight for a cause. She has been on a strike for over a decade, demanding the repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). She was just 28 years when she decided to fast. Sharmila was arrested three days after she began her strike for attempted suicide, and again in 2006 for protesting in Delhi. Even though her condition has been deteriorating, nothing has deterred the 42-year-old from holding true to her cause. In January 2015, she was released after the suicide attempt charge against her was quashed. Sharmila continued her fast unto death in the heart of the Imphal town.

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9. Pooja Thakur

Wing Commander Puja Thakur, a 36 year old post-graduate in English, shot to fame when she became the first woman officer to lead the Guard of Honour for President Barack Obama, who was the chief guest at the Republic Day Parade on 26th January, 2015. Poojajoined the Indian Air Force as an officer in the year 2000 and was commissioned in the education wing of the IAF next year after training. Her father is a retired colonel who inspired her to join the defence forces of India. When interviewed for her achievement, she said that she was “chosen not because I am a woman, but because I represent the smartly turned-out defence officer. It is not about male or female, it is about being an officer, which I am.”

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8. Baby Haldar

Born in 1973, Baby Haldar is a renowned author whose first book, Aalo Aandhari(A Life Less Ordinary), an autobiography, which was first published in 2006 and has since been translated into 21 languages including 13 foreign languages. Unbelievable though it may seem, Baby Haldar is still a domestic maid in the house of Professor Prabodh Kumar, a retired anthropologist and the grandson of the noted Hindi novelist Munshi Premchand in Gurgaon. Baby Haldar comes from an extremely poor and wretched family. Her mother abandoned her when she was just four because she couldn’t bear the atrocities of her husband. The father married her off when she was just 12 to a man who 14 years older than her was. She bore three children; the first one was born when she was just 13. She ran away from her cruel husband and came to Delhi. Here she worked as a domestic help with several exploitative employers and finally landed up in the house of her last employer Professor Prabodh Kumar. Strangely enough she still continues to work for him- paying the debt of his love and munificence. Prof Kumar taught her to read and write and also encouraged her to write her biography.

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7. Chetna Gala Sinha

Chetna Gala Sinha is a multi-talent personality. She is an economist, farmer, social activist, rural innovator and a strategist for women empowerment in rural India. She has first-hand knowledge about the problems of the poor rural women who suffer for want of money and entrepreneurial skills. Chetna launched an organization, Manndeshi, which persuaded banks to offer loans to the poor women whose savings through piggy banks were taken away by their husbands. She also encouraged the rural women to start business enterprises despite personal, domestic and social constraints. She set up institutions to train them in entrepreneurial skills. Manndeshi is the first rural financial organization which is exclusively run by and for women. It is a ‘doorstep banking’ program. Chetnafaced a huge opposition from the people as well as the government officials. She ran a door-to-door campaign explaining her plans to women and ultimately succeeded in bringing the mainstream banking services to the poor and disadvantaged village women and improved their lot.

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6. Sunitha Krishnan

Forty-three year old Dr.Sunita Krishnan was gang-raped when she was just 15. Instead of receiving support and compassion, she was ostracized, isolated and stigmatized just because she was a victim and traffic survivor. “We have Ph.ds in victimizing a victim,” she says. She founded an organization, Prajwala in 1996 in Hydrabadfor rescuing and helping the hapless women and children, the victims of human trafficking. She has worked for decades and has rescued approximately 10,000 girls. She is now their god-mother. Recounting her own tale of horror, she says, “I have been beaten up more than 14 times in my life, I can’t hear from my right ear, I’ve lost a staff of mine who was murdered during the rescue.”

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5. Laxmi

Laxmi was born in an extremely impoverished family. Like every normal young girl, she too had her dreams, which were shattered by a lunatic 32-year-old Naeem Khan whose advances she repulsed. He attacked her with acid and disfigured her completely in 2005 in Khan Market, Delhi when she was just 16. What makes her a superwoman is that she refused to be cowed down by the inhuman pain, misery and isolation. She launched a campaign against acid attacks and petitioned the Supreme Court by collecting 27,000 signatures which led it to order the central and the state governments to regulate the sale of acid. Her courage has been widely acclaimed and she has been honoured with several awards including the International Women of Courage award in America given by Michelle Obama in 20014. While accepting it she said: “The face you burned is the face I love …I am alive and flourishing.” On another occasion she said, “We are not victims, but fighters.” She is currently an anchor with a TV channel and runs an NGO, Chhanv to help the acid attack survivors.

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4. Chhavi Rajawat

Chhavi Rajawat was born in 1980 in an affluent Kachawaha Rajput family in a small village Soda in Jaipur, Rajasthan.She was educated in top elite institutions of the country, Rishi Valley School in Aandhra Pradesh, Mayo Girls School, Ajmer, and Lady Sri Ram College in Delhi. She worked in the Times of India, Carison Group of Hotels, Airtel etc., but ultimately chose to come back to her roots to be elected the Sarpach of its panchayat-council. Here she initiated several development projects including rain water harvesting and toilet facilities. She addressed a gathering of delegates at Infopoverty World Conference at United Nations on 25th March, 2011. She has also been honoured by President APJ Abdul Kalam and as “Young Indian Leader” of the year by IBNLive.

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3. Mary Com

MangteChungneijang Mary Kom or just Mary Kom, born on First March, 1983, is a boxer from Manipur. She started her boxing career in 2000 after winning Manipur state women’s boxing championship and debuted in first AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championship in United States where she won a silver medal in the 48 kg weight category. Thereafter she has never looked back. She earned the nickname of Magnificent Mary for winning medals in a host of international tournaments including a bronze medal in 2012 Summer Olympics. She is the first Indian woman boxer to win Gold Medal in Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea in 2014. She has also been honoured with Padam Shri and Padam Bhushan awards by the government of India.

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2. Sania Mirza

The ace tennis player, Sania Mirza on Sunday, 12th April, 2015, created history by becoming the first female tennis player from India to achieve the world number one rank in doubles, following her stupendous title win at the WTA Family Circle Cup with partner Martina Hingis, in Charleston. Sania expressed her happiness by tweeting she was ‘on top of the world’ after she was officially crowned world no. 1 in the WTA ranking for women’s doubles. She is also first female player from the country to win Grand Slam tournaments.

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1. Saina Nehwal

Our top spot goes to Saina Nehwal, the ace badminton player of India. She is currently ranked at number1 by Badminton World Federation Women’s Singles for the year 2015. She became the first Indian woman to reach No.1 after finishing runner-up to reigning World Champion Carolina Marin at All England and winning the India Open in March and the first Indian win medal in Badminton in Olympics 2012 where she won a Bronze. A down to earth girl who has become a beacon of hope for not just girls but Indians of every caste and gender to bring fame to country on international level. This is just a start of her career and people watching the upward graph of her career and a level head; no doubt, she will make a name for herself and India.

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CONCLUSION

Most modern superwomen of India, as is evident from above, are the true daughters of the soil. They are self-inspired, exemplify grit in the face of immense difficulties, made their own decisions and consequently faced the ensuing challenges in meeting them as well. These women are a role model for the young generation who are looking to reach the stars defying their current circumstances.

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