Indian women is breaking the stereotypes with prowess and power. There are women who are the first ones from their families to move out in the public arena and make their mark. We salute such women and bring to you a curated 12 such powerful women.
1. Arunima Sinha, India’s first female amputee to climb Mt Everest
Sinha was a national level volleyball player who lost her left leg in a tragic accident. However, she didn’t let her shortcoming stop her from scaling the heights of Mt. Everest. She became India’s first female amputee to climb the mountain and was awarded Padma Shri in 2015.
2. Shila Dawre, India’s first female auto-rickshaw driver
Shila Dawre became country’s first woman auto rickshaw driver when she first stepped into the ‘male-dominated’ zone in the year 1988. Pune based Dawre wants to now start an academy for women interested in becoming trained auto drivers.
3. Tessy Thomas, first woman scientist to head a missile project in India
4. Fathima Beevi, India’s first female Supreme Court judge
5. Sarla Thakral, India’s first woman pilot
Sarla Thakral received the license for flying aircrafts when she was only 21 years old. She 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.
6. Kiran Bedi, India’s first woman police officer
7. Kalpana Chawla, first Indian-origin woman astronaut to go to outer space
An American astronaut, the late Kalpana Chawla made the country proud by becoming the first Indian-origin woman to go to outer space. In 1997, she flew on Space Shuttle Columbia as a mission specialist and primary robotic arm operator.
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8. Pratibha Patil, first woman to serve as the President of India
9. Roshni Sharma, India’s first woman to ride solo from Kanyakumari to Kashmir
10. Radhika Menon, India’s first woman Merchant Navy captain
Six years ago, Radhika Menon became the first woman captain of the Indian Merchant Navy. Last year, she became the first woman in the world to receive the Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea from the International Maritime Organisation after she saved seven fishermen who got lost at sea.
11. Mumtaz, Asia’s first woman diesel engine driver
Mumtaz M. Kazi has been piloting trains since the age of 20. She applied for a Railways job in 1989, and went on to become Asia’s first woman diesel engine driver. She has several awards to her credit and was awarded the prestigious ‘Nari Shakti Puraskar’ by President Pranab Mukherjee earlier this year.
12. Indira Gandhi became the first woman Prime Minister of India