Here are some women whom we salute from the bottom of our hearts for their courage of bringing a change in the society.
1. Neerja Bhanot
Neerja was in her early 20s when she was killed by the terrorists in the 1986 Pan Am Flight 73 plane hijack, while saving the more than 350 passengers onboard. Neerja was posthumously rewarded with the Ashok Chakra. She became the youngest recipient of this award and proved that courage is not gender specific and has nothing to do with age.
2. Kalpana Chawla
She was the first Indian woman on space who made the whole nation bask in the glory and joy with her achievements. Kalpana Chawla, the Indian-American astronaut, lost her life in the year 2003 when her space shuttle disintegrated over Texas while re-entering the earth’s atmosphere.
3. Irom Chanu Sharmila
She is known as the ‘Iron Lady of Manipur’, so do we need to say more! Irom Sharmila went on a hunger strike in 2000 to repeal the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA). After the Malom Massacre, Sharmila started this strike which is known to be “the world’s longest hunger strike.” Her determination and courage is commendable.
Laxmi was 15 when she was acid attacked by a man double her age when she rejected his advances. But this did not make her weak. Instead, she took this as an opportunity to bring a change in society by working towards the welfare of the acid attack survivors. Today she is the voice of all the acid attack victims across the globe and she recently even featured in an advertisement for a clothing brand.
5. Indra Nooyi
Indra Nooyi has been ranked 13 in the list of Forbes World’s 100 Most Powerful Women and is the Chairperson and CEO of PepsiCo. Not only this, Forbes even ranked her third in the ‘World’s Powerful Moms’ list. Indra Nooyi is an inspiration for all the women who aspire to become entrepreneurs.
6. Bhanwari Devi
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She was allegedly gang-raped by the higher caste men when she was trying to prevent a child marriage in their family. But this act did not deter her from her cause. Bhanwari Devi, the Indian dalit social-worker from Rajasthan, received recognition both nationally and internationally and was even a part of the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing.
7. Sunitha Krishnan
Sunitha is a social activist and co-founder of NGO Prajwala, who has constantly worked for the welfare of sex-trafficked victims and rehabilitate the sex workers. She was gang-raped at the age of 15 and has received many death threats and even attacked by people because of her work. But all these acts have only strengthened her fight against human trafficking.
8. Priyanka Chopra
You don’t need a godfather in this industry and Priyanka Chopra is one actress who aptly proves it. Miss World 2000 might not have had a great start to her career, but today she is not only Bollywood’s much sought-after actress, but has even carved a niche for herself in Hollywood. For those who don’t know, she represented India at this year’s Oscars.