Women of India -The Way - finders of a Triumphant Revolution
The significance of this quote ought to create ripples in the minds of people, only to realize that by pushing away the ruthless stances of a patriarchal society, women undoubtedly emerge as courageous warriors and most significantly as equals in a world of male-dominance. This being said, over the centuries, women had been deprived of honour and equality, but that only seemed to have sparked an opportunity for legends to take birth. Rubbing shoulders with their male-counterparts only to stand ground and create a revolution despite being caged, mocked or even mauled at, women have always pushed through.
Indian women too had their share of struggle in creating a path for others to follow. Today we bring to you the story of the ‘firsts’ who have gained a global stature for breaking all gender barriers by working immensely hard for their rights, making progress in the field of politics, arts, science, defence, sports and more. Deserved to be celebrated, their achievements represent the millions in the country who seek a voice to scream out ‘Empowered in Equality.’ Let us today remember those Wonder Women on the occasion of International Women Day.
Legends who ignited it all
Anandibai Gopalrao Joshi
The first Indian female physician in the year 1887 who was also the first Indian woman to be trained in western medicine and to have travelled to the United States of America. At a time when women’s educational-rights seemed a far-cry, but backed by a dark tale of losing her child who was10 days old due to lack of medical help, Anandibai who was just 14 at the time, decided to become a physician, setting a new path of possibilities for women of that period as well as for those today.
Receiving the license for flying aircrafts when she was only 21 years old, Sarla in 1936 became the first Indian woman to fly an aircraft. After earning the license, she completed one thousand hours of flying an aircraft and became the first woman pilot to obtain 'A' license. She also achieved the title of the first Indian to get airmail pilot's licence. This sensational act of pride only proves that although women combat challenges and disputes in everyday life, it only drives a rush to conquer and grab for higher and Sarla Thakral was an epitome of this.
A sports-sensation who marked recognition in her respective field — an uncharted territory for women in her time — is Arati Saha. In 1959, she became the first and fastest Asian woman to successfully swim across the English Channel. After battling rough waves and powerful currents for 16 hours and 20 minutes, Arati reached Sandgate, her destination on the English coast. The first thing she did was hoist the Indian tricolour, fluttering proudly in the cool breeze as if it knew that this victory was not just for Arati, but for all the women of India.
The first woman Prime Minister of India who served from 1966 to 1977. In 1971, she became the first woman to receive the Bharat Ratna award and was named "Woman of the Millennium" in a poll organised by BBC in 1999. Just before her tragic death, Indira Gandhi stated,“Every drop of my blood will contribute to the growth of this nation and make it strong and dynamic.” Such was the passion of Indira, a woman who symbolized the potential of every other in the country & the world, signifying that women are second to none.
Set on these tracks in their respective fields and charging on a more misogynistic society with fervent bravery and dexterity, these women were true legends of their times who showed the world what a woman is truly capable of. However, the battle for empowerment continues to sprout newer beginnings with women from the 21st century setting diverse tracks ablaze with fiery talents and mind-blowing pride-worthy acts that defy a once stereo-typed society. Some of them are:
The first woman to score a double hundred in Test Cricket (214* against New Zealand at Wellington, 2004) and the first to achieve this landmark in the world. With many laurels to her name and for the country, Mithali is truly a celebrative inspiration that has driven hope for women with a taste for sports not just in India, but also around the world.
The first Indian-female amputee to climb Mount Everest& Mount Vinson. Prior to this achievement, Arunima was a national-level volley ball player who faced an unfortunate event when a group of thieves pushed her out of a running train in 2011, as she was resisting them. As a result of this incident one of her legs had to be amputated below the knee to save her life. While undergoing treatment, she came across thoughts of wanting to get somewhere in life and soon detoured on wanting to make it to Mount Everest. With the success in her expedition, Arunima has sung the song of success pushing right through the glass-ceiling, creating a stand that nothing is impossible for a woman when she puts her mind into it.
The only woman boxer who has won a medal in each of the six World Championships. She was the only Indian woman boxer who qualified for the 2012 Olympics and became the first Indian woman boxer to win a gold medal in Asian Games in 2014. This honourable figure only proves to the world that women are not just subject to scrutiny and weakness, but are instead chasms of strength, courage and immense talent.
The first Indian woman to ever solo-ride (a motorbike) from Kanyakumari to Kashmir in 2014, Roshini Sharma has raised the bar and set a platform around the world for women to scope a chance in biking and has become a role model for many women bikers not only inthe country but across the boundaries. Overcoming challenges and breaking every stereotype, at the success of her trip she stated, “As a woman in India, I am hounded around by society as to how it is unsafe to travel in India for a woman. And especially when she’s alone! Hemmed with an uncertain weather in this country, I expected many people to raise their eyebrows at my adventure. My experiences though contradicted my expectations”. Roshni’s example and her experience conquered all and set new horizons. For the women in India this is truly an achievement to be celebrated and prided.
Winning the gender equality war, takes a story of revolution: Citing these marvellous personalities, who have all struggled in journeying to mark a place in society and triumphed, it only deems right to state that women no longer stay curbed within walls, but hold out an abyss of potentials and talents that might just win the war for gender equality. Paying tribute to every woman this International woman’s day, the year 2019 is all set to create a path for them to walk head held high with straightened shoulders paralleling their male-counterparts and no barrier to stump the progress of women in the country.
Hey Woman! Times of equal-thinking, innovation, smart-builds are at hand, pick up your shovel and take up gear, for you have now borne the fruits of what had been a long-done struggle.
Wishing every woman a successful & prideful woman’s day!
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