Have you ever wondered how the lives of girls and women in India continue to evolve and thrive, reaching new horizons?
Well, describing the answer is not a straightforward task. While it is essential to acknowledge the prevailing challenges faced by Indian women, it is equally important to highlight those extraordinary women who possess the potential to rise above adversity and redefine women’s success from pre-independence era to present day culture.
To grasp the magnitude of their achievements, let’s delve into the lives of these women warriors who truly made a difference in thousands’s lives with their undefinable patience and relentless efforts.
Hence, in this blog, I present to you a collection of narratives that shattered societal barriers, physical disabilities, effecting change, and reedifying the potential of a woman.
Here you go!
In the annals of Indian History, one name is always inscribed as a golden word, Rani Lakshmibai, the epitome of bravery and fortitude. Despite possessing a soul and kind heart of a mother, who had a young adopted child, she did not let that stop her from taking up arms against the British rulers.
To challenge the “Doctrine of Lapse,” a policy initiated by the East India Company in 1858 to annex “Princely States” if they lacked a natural heir, and safeguard her motherland from evil eyes, she rode into battle against the Britishers with her swords and her beloved son on her back.
Although she was unable to regain control of Jhansi, she never failed to rally her troops against all odds. After a prolonged duration of intense fighting and bloodshed in Gwalior, she breathed her last with glory, refusing to surrender. Her strength and courage served as an inspiration to many women, encouraging them to embark on the journey toward freedom.
In present-day India, her legacy continues to be honored and celebrated. To pay tribute to Lakshmibai, the Indian National Army established a women’s unit named “Rani of Jhansi,” and the Indian Coast Guard has named one of their ships ICGS Lakshmibai. Rani Lakshmibai’s endurance against oppression made her a symbol of defiance against tyranny in Indian history.
Described as the first female teacher and headmistress in India, Savitribai Phule is the pioneer of the women’s education system in the era of darkness. Her journey began alongside her husband Jyotirao Phule in 1848 when they established the first modern girls’ school in Pune. It is said that she was illiterate at the time of her marriage, and she received her initial primary education alongside her husband Jyotirao Phule.
After completing her teacher’s education she took her first step towards women’s education, despite facing humiliation and resistance from the local community. However, her determination towards education was unwavering, and she refused to be swayed by obstacles. Despite numerous challenges, she successfully educated children from various backgrounds and castes, ultimately establishing a total of 18 schools. But she didn’t stop there.
She actively advocated against child marriage and supported widow marriage during the pre-independence era. The legacy of Savitribai Phule continues to thrive in Today’s India, where girl’s education is highly esteemed. The University of Pune renamed Savitribai Phule Pune University in 2015 to honor her enduring legacy. Savitri Bai’s accomplishments have led the foundation for those who advocate for rights and equality.
In a world where boundaries attempted to confine, Kiran Bedi established herself as the first female IPS officer in India. With determination to bring about change in society, she left her ineradicable footnote for future generations to follow. Serving as the voice of justice and empowerment in India, and representing crime prevention at the United Nations, she made history. Kiran Bedi’s journey in a male-dominated area was not only a personal triumph but also a significant milestone for gender equality.
Bedi’s journey began with her first posting to the Chanakyapuri subdivision of Delhi in 1975. From the very beginning of her career, she took on the task of eliminating criminal activities. Throughout her journey, regardless of her posting, she fearlessly worked towards crime prevention.
Breaking free from traditional policing methods, she faced criticism when she was assigned to Tihar Jail. However, her impact on the prison system was profound. She initiated prison reform programs that included NGOs, civilians and former inmates, introducing measures such as detoxification programs, yoga, vipassana meditation, literacy programs, and a system for prisoner complaints.
Bedi’s effort to prevent crime, reform prisons, eradicate drug abuse, and support women’s causes earned her the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award, often referred to as the Asian equivalent of Nobel Prize. Her story resonates as a powerful reminder that barriers are meant to be broken, and true change is born out of unrelenting courage.
Mithali Dorai Raj, nicknamed as Tendulkar of Women’s Cricket, emerged as a cricketing icon in a world filled with stereotypes and gender barriers. With a bat in her hand, she shattered conventions and left her mark on the spot as the first Indian women to score a double century.
Mithali’s breakthrough came when she made her debut in the era of Indian Women’s Cricket at the age of 16 against Ireland on the International Cricket stage. However, her journey was so far from easy. The lack of infrastructure and limited opportunities in women’s cricket in India, coupled with the constant comparison between the men’s and women’s cricket teams, created numerous obstacles for Mithali. Despite facing criticism and battling injuries, she refused to be broken down. Instead, these obstacles fuelled Mithali’s spirit, pushing her forward.
By smashing barriers one after another, she has succeeded in creating a legacy as the only female Indian cricketer to captain Indian Women’s Team twice in the ICC ODI World Cup Final.
Mithali holds the record for the most runs in International women’s Cricket, surpassing Charlotte Edward’s previous record of 10,273 runs.
She is awarded with Padma Shri, Khel Ratna, Arjuna Award for her excellence. Through her achievements, she has paved the way for Indian female cricketers, showcasing that talent knows no gender and that dreams can indeed be realized.
From a defining moment of adversity to a symbol of indefatigable spirit, Arunima Sinha is a true inspiration for all. Arunima’s journey began when she became the first female amputee to climb Mt. Everest, conquering the highest peak of the world.
Former national football player and volleyball player Arunima met with an accident while she was on her way to take an examination for CISF. In that horrible accident, she lost both her legs. However, this disability was unable to stop her from chasing her dream.
The first achievement with her prosthetic legs was accomplished by climbing Mt. Everest while undergoing treatment at All India Medical Science (AIMS) and the achievements were going on while she continued to scale Mt. Kilimanjaro (Tanzania), Mt. Elbrus (Russia), Mt. Aconcagua (South America) and many more.
Arunima’s triumph extended far beyond mountaineering. Her journey exemplifies that with an unyielding spirit, one can reach unimaginable heights. Her remarkable accomplishments reside in our hearts as a testament to the realm of infinite possibilities.
Vandana Shiva, an ecofeminist and anti-globalization author, has emerged as a prominent figure in the movement for a greenery world. Devoting her life to advocating for sustainable development and promoting environmental justice, she has become a symbol of revolution in the greenery world.
Shiva has actively fought against the practices of biotechnology, genetic engineering, Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) aiming to bring about positive changes. In 1982, Navdanya was established by her, which aimed at conserving biodiversity and promoting organic farming in India.
The campaign against the practice of biopiracy was one of the crucial steps undertaken by Shiva to challenge the corporate sector’s claim of ownership over naturally occurring plant varieties. In opposition to this, the concept of seed freedom has ardently supported by Shiva. To support this fact, Shiva has criticized WTO’s Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPRs) agreement in 1994.
Throughout her illustrious career, Vandana Shiva faced numerous challenges, where corporations sought to silence her activism that had initiated legal battles against her. However Shiva’s resilience and determination never wavered. Her work has promoted a reassessment of the dominant paradigm of industrial agriculture, encouraging more conscious environmental practices.
It’s Time To Contribute And Inspire The World
The stories of these women heroes resonate deeply with me as they go beyond mere narratives. They are a symbol of hope for those who are still striving to pursue their dreams.
Their stories serve as a powerful reminder that regardless of the circumstances we encounter, we have the ability to challenge the existing norms that hinder our progress.
By amplifying the stories and recognizing their contributions, you can also contribute and pave the way for a more equitable, charismatic, and compassionate world.
I’m a passionate content creator and storyteller. And I believe “words have the power to make a difference in your thoughts.”