Famous and formidable, no matter how weak the Indian woman is projected, she still bears the torch of many lives, inspiring courage, dignity and purpose among people who surround her.
She’s taken countless first steps that women from most developed parts of the world wouldn’t dare to.
From climbing Mount Everest, to conquering the space, and from crossing the English Channel to braving a solo voyage across the African continent to study tribal life, Indian women have deceived their own potentials to come out in winning colors.
And do note, with the 5 names mentioned below, we’ve only just scratched the surface. Take a look.
5. Indira Gandhi: 1st and the Only Indian Woman Who Created a New Country!
Recently, conferred with the highest Bangladesh Award – The Bangladesh Swadhinata Sammanona for her outstanding contributions to Bangladesh war of Independence, Late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was instrumental in getting the forlorn country its rightful freedom.
She moved mountains to help East Pakistan earn fight against the apathy of the Hindu-Muslim discord (Urdu-Bengali Discord), heavy taxation from seat of the ruling Government in Pakistan, and freed the country from many other hardships and exploitative conduct of the Government.
Despite facing numerous challenges from within and outside India, she stood by the cause. From within her own political circles, she faced major pressure from West Bengal supporters for an immediate attack, which the country was not prepared for.
Another major challenge came from the international community, where as a result of cold war between Russia and US had complicated much. China weighted the situation against the Soviets, and so formed allies with US and Pakistan.
4. Kiran Bedi: First Indian Woman IPS Officer
Born on June 9, 1949 in Amritsar, Kiran Bedi went ahead to become the first woman IPS officer of the country in 1972. One of the faces behind modern India, she served many roles, including that of narcotics officer, anti-terrorists specialist and also administrator.
Among her most noticeable achievements is the role she played in introducing prison reforms. She became Inspector General of Police in 1994 and reshaped the largest prison in the world – The Tihar Jail in Delhi. There she addressed several issues pertaining to corruption, human rights abuse, and sanitation and nutrition problems. She was also instrumental in implementing drug treatment and new literacy programs.
Kiran Bedi was the first woman to be appointed as the United Nations Civilian Police Adviser. As an ardent social reformist, she translated her concerns into efforts by establishing two NGOs – Navjoyti and India Vision Foundation for providing vocational training and counseling to women and drug rehabilitation for prisoners.
3. Bachhendri Pal: First Indian Woman atop the Highest Mountain
Born in 1954 in Nakuri Village in Gharwal, Uttrakhand, Bachhendri Pal, a mountain girl became the first ever Indian Women to conquer the highest summit in the world, Mount Everest in 1984.
Bachhendri was chosen as the only female for the fourth Indian expedition scheduled to Mount Everest. Despite an avalanche burying the troop under a thick cover of snow, Bachendri and other who escaped the disaster with minor injuries, continued with their voyage, and on May 23 around 1 p.m. they reached the summit.
Post the Everest Climb, Bacchendri Pal led a team of Indo-Nepalese Woman’s Everest Expedition in 1993. In 1994, she joined a team of rafters for “The Great Indian Women’s Rafting Voyage.”
She was also part of the “The First Women Trans-Himalayan Expedition in 1997.” It was a group of 8 women, who conquered the highest point in the country at Siachen Glacier (20,100 ft.) by covering 4500 km and crossing over 40 high mountain passes.
2. Meher Moos: 1st Indian Woman in Antarctica
Meher Moos, the first Indian Woman in Antarctica, is famously known as “India’s Intrepid Traveler.” Her travelling career started with Air India in 1995, when she joined the airlines as an Air Hostess. She retired in the 2002, and is presently serving as International Travel Consultant to Thomas Cook.
She crossed the Arctic Circle in 1972. There she visited 3 Laplands of Scandinavia. It was in 1976, when she voyaged right up to the Antarctica on the “Lindblad Explorer,” sailing from Cape Town to Cape Horn. There she visited isolated Antarctic Scientific and Meteorological bases set in the backdrop of glacial mountains.
Her deep interest in anthropology took her to over 150 countries around the world. She also embarked on a solo trip for 5 months to explore 35 countries in Africa – discovering the forbidden interiors, marching right across the Sahara and Timbactou and Tuaregs to learn the ways of the Pygmies.
1. Kalpana Chawla: First Indian Woman in Space
Born on July 1, 1961, Kalpana Chawala became the first Indian woman in space. Before immigrating to the United States, she obtained a degree in aeronautical engineering from Punjab Engineering College. She then earned a doctorate in aerospace engineering from the University of Colorado in 1988. The same year she started working at NASA’a Ames Research Center.
Having been selected as an Astronaut Candidate in 1994, she got her first chance to fly to the space in 1997, aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia, STS-87.
Her second voyage to the space came in the year 2000, when she served as a mission specialist on the STS-107. Unfortunately, the mission met a tragic end. When returning back to the earth on February 1, 2003, a briefcase size piece of the insulation broke off, which caused hot gas streaming into the shuttle and lead to its breakdown over Taxes.